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News Story
Updated: 12/22/2017 08:30:01AM

A brazen power play

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The Florida Supreme Court punted and invited a constitutional crisis by declining to decide now whether Gov. Rick Scott can appoint three new justices on the day he leaves office. Outgoing governors should not be able to pack the court on their way out the door, and voters have made clear they oppose such a brazen power play. Since the court has failed to act, perhaps the Constitution Revision Commission can put an amendment on the 2018 ballot that would allow voters to provide clarity.

The Florida League of Women Voters and Common Cause asked the Supreme Court to rule that an incoming governor would appoint new justices when current justices are required to retire on the same day the outgoing governor leaves office. Attorneys for Scott asked that the lawsuit be dismissed, asserting that the three departing justices will reach their mandated retirement the end of Jan. 7, 2019, while Scott will remain until his successor is sworn into office on Jan. 8.

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