In Florida’s Senate, the fate of a proposal to overhaul the state Supreme Court is up in the air.
While it was removed Friday from the Senate calendar — where it had been scheduled for a vote — at least one subsequent news report said key Republican Senate leaders had promised House Speaker Dean Cannon a Senate vote. It was delayed during the past week because 24 votes are needed for passage of the plan, and Republicans could not count that many yes votes, a Tallahassee Democrat article said.
The proposal would expand the high court from seven to 10 members, then split the court into two divisions, and make other changes. It has encountered a firestorm of criticism from opponents who say it would politicize the high court, amount to “court-packing” by Republicans and also amount to retaliation against a court that did not always see eye-to-eye with the legislature (see Gavel Grab for background). Florida’s governor is Republican.
According to Republican Sen. Paula Dockery, there are at least five and possibly as many as nine out of a total 28 Republican senators who do not support the House-passed plan. The Senate is in the final days of its regularly scheduled session. (more…)