Welcome to

Capitol News Service

Florida's Best Political Television Coverage

 


Visit the Lobby Tools Website

 


Visit Legislative IQ Website

 


Recent Posts

Categories

Archives

RSS Capitol News LIVE

RSS Quote of the Day

  • Alfred Lord Tennyson
    "Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers."
  • Albert Einstein
    "I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right."
  • Oscar Wilde
    "Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about."
  • Nadia Boulanger
    "A great work is made out of a combination of obedience and liberty."

Governor Invokes Rarely Used Power Asking for Justices Opinion

August 12th, 2019 by Mike Vasilinda

Governor Ron SDeSantis is invoking a rarely used  power, asking the state Supreme Court whether the voter approved restoration of voting rights also includes the payment of all fines, fees, and restitution. The request may be an effort to short circuit a federal lawsuit.

In a four page letter, the Governor is asking the Supreme court whether it believes the voter approved amendment restoring a felons right to vote also requires paying all fines, fees, and other financial obligations. 

It’s a question justices themselves asked of sponsor Jon Mills when deciding if the amendment could go on the ballot back in March of 2017..

“All matters. Anything a judge puts in a sentence” Mills told the court.

“So it would also include the full payment of any fines?” Asked Justice Ricky Polston,, to which Mills replied: “Yes sir.”

Clemency attorney Reggie Garcia is quick to point out the implementing law allows felons to ask a judge and state attorney: “To either waive these financial obligations completely, or convert them to community service” says Garcia.

The ACLU and the League of Women Voters are challenging the amendments implementing law in Federal Court. They say in part it violates the 24th amendment which prohibits a poll tax. 

With a Federal lawsuit already filed, some believe the Governor’s letter asking for an opinion is an attempt to get a state court, the Supreme Court, to make a decision before a Federal court rules.

Human Rights Attorney and FSU Law Professor Mark Schlakman thinks having a state court rule on a state constitutional question is a good idea.

“One might surmise that if any entity is to interpret the Florida Constitution as a result of the amendment becoming affective, that that authority should be the Florida Supreme Court” says Schlakman.

The request for the courts opinion is rare. Governors have asked the court for advice just 8 times since 1989.

And the last time the court was asked for an opinion was in 2010 by then Governor Charlie Crist. It had to do with the Governor’s authority to fill vacancies in the judiciary.

Posted in State News | No Comments »

Comments are closed.

copyright © 2016 by Capitol News Service | Powered by Wordpress | Hosted by LyonsHost.com