Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Consitution Amendment / local Palmetto Bay Charter Change ballot issue reviews. #1. State Amendment #5. 'Reforms' would threaten rights, politicize justice

This looks like a year to steer clear of many proposed State Constitutional Amendments statewide as well as local Palmetto Bay Charter Changes locally.  Many read innocently, but unfortunately a benign title belies a more sinister or hidden proposed result. I will be running a series on various state ballot constitutional proposals as well as the Palmetto Bay Charter change proposals for your review.

'Reforms' would threaten rights, politicize justice 

The link takes you to a guest column in the Orlando Sentinel written by Talbot "Sandy" D'Alemberte, a lawyer, former president of the American Bar Association, former president of Florida State University and former dean of its College of Law

Please read the entire article.  Some of the main points are as follows:

We all remember the wise advice: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Here, we need to apply a new maxim: Don't break something that has been fixed.

Amendment 5 tips the balance of power in favor of political branches by giving them greater influence in the selection of judges appointed to serve on Florida's Supreme Court. The measure seeks to undermine the intent of the nonpartisan judicial nominating system by requiring Senate confirmation for all judicial appointments to the high court.

Amendment 5 puts the nominee back into a political process, with the specter of partisan lawmakers rejecting qualified appointees over ideological issues. Reduced in importance could be the honesty, competency or diligence necessary to be a successful Supreme Court justice.

The danger is clear and present. It is not the court's power that is in jeopardy. It is yours. Defend your constitution — and the court's ability to uphold it — by voting no on Amendment 5.

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