August 2—Citing potential “constitutional crisis”, LWVF and Common Cause ask court to tell Governor he can’t appoint more Justices.
• Mary Ellen Klas, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau:
The Florida Supreme Court is being asked to avoid a potential “constitutional crisis” and affirm that Gov. Rick Scott does not have the authority to appoint judges whose terms expire on the same day he leaves office in 2019.
The request came in the form of a quo warranto petition filed late Wednesday by the Florida League of Women Voters and Common Cause, which argue that a governor cannot appoint the successors of three Florida Supreme Court justices who will be retiring on the same day he is out of office because the justices’ terms “run through the last second of the evening of Jan. 8, 2019.”
Under current law, the governor is not allowed to make an appointment to the Florida Supreme Court or the state courts of appeal unless there is a vacancy. Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince are scheduled to retire because they will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 by Jan. 8, 2019, the same day a new govenror will be sworn in the replace Scott.
Scott, a two-term Republican, said during a December press conference that: “I’ll appoint three more justices the morning I finish my term.” But the League warns that if Scott attempts a “midnight appointment” and attempts to choose the successors before the deadline, it will draw lawsuits and set the court system into chaos.
For complete Times/Herald article: Continue Reading.
To read the full petition, click here.