You’ve got to admire the Florida Legislature for its creativity in inventing ways to circumvent democracy and minimizing the power of the people’s vote.
Its latest con — proposed constitutional Amendment 3 — “requiring” that a lame-duck governor, rather than the newly elected governor, fill judicial vacancies should be soundly defeated.
Appointing judges is one of the most important powers of a governor.
So our Legislature wants to strip the power to appoint judges to the District Courts of Appeal and the Florida Supreme Court from a newly-elected governor.
Amendment 3 would transfer the power to fill vacancies for judges who aren’t eligible for merit retention to a governor who is term limited or who may have been rejected for re-election.
If Amendment 3 passes, the power of a newly elected governor will be diminished, but the legislature will also have succeeded in taking the power to decide who will select Florida’s next judges from the voters for decades to come.
Howard Simon, executive director, ACLU, Miami