Constitutional Judiciary Committee
The charge of the Constitutional Judiciary Committee is to consider various methods of strengthening Florida’s judiciary and maintaining its independence, including but not limited to, possible changes in state constitutional or statutory law. Among specific issues of likely consideration the committee will explore potential changes in the composition and appointment of our state’s judicial nominating commissions, money raising options to endorse candidates supporting judicial independence, as well as other reforms.
Benchmarks: Attorneys Teaching Civics Education Seminar June 28
The Constitutional Judiciary Committee is hosting a seminar to teach attorneys how to present civics education activities when they speak at community clubs and groups on Friday, June 28, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Boca Raton Resort & Club during The Florida Bar's Annual Convention. The seminar will give an overview of the Benchmarks program. Of note: Benchmarks presenters can earn one ethics credit hour for each presentation for up to three presentations in a three-year reporting period.
The need for civics education for adults is clear. A 2012 study by Xavier University's Center for the Study of the American Dream found that when respondents were asked questions about the U.S. government:
- 85 percent did not know the meaning of the "the rule of law."
- 82 percent could not name "two rights stated in the Declaration of Independence."
- 75 percent were not able to correctly answer "What does the judiciary branch do?"
Benchmarks offers a method for attorneys to talk about the structure and function of government in an engaging format with the goal of increasing the public’s knowledge of and support for the courts. Each activity comes with materials that can be downloaded from The Florida Bar website. Registration is available online.
Benchmarks activities available online
The Constitutional Judiciary Committee's Benchmarks activities are available for download on line:
- Amending the Florida Constitution and the role of the courts.
- Judging candidates for judicial office.
- Understanding what makes a law "constitutional."
- Getting beyond labels in discussing courts and controversial cases.
- Interpreting what laws mean.
- Testing your knowledge of what's in the U.S. and Florida constitutions.
|Merrick Lawrence Gross||Chair||Miami||2013|
|Michael Joseph Napoleone||Vice Chair||West Palm Beach||2014|
|Jay Cohen||Board Liaison||Ft Lauderdale||2013|
|Daniel Cramer Brown||Tallahassee||2014|
|Edward John Carbone||Tampa||2014|
|Gloria Ann Carr||Orlando||2013|
|Steven Wayne Davis||Miami||2013|
|James McClung DuRant, Jr.||Tallahassee||2013|
|Julie Feigeles||Coral Gables||2014|
|Alan Orantes Forst||West Palm Beach||2014|
|Donald A. Harrison||Riverview||2013|
|John Mark Howe||West Palm Beach||2013|
|Edward Camille LaRose||Tampa||2013|
|Jessica Callow Mason||West Palm Beach||2013|
|Jon M Philipson||Orlando||2014|
|Anthony M Salzano||New Port Richey||2013|
|Deborah Michelle Sisco||Tampa||2014|
|Mark R Wolfe||Tampa||2014|
|David Haris Young||Miami||2013|