THE FLORIDA BAR OPPOSES AMENDMENT 5 ON THE NOV. 6, 2012, GENERAL ELECTION BALLOT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2012
CONTACT: Francine Walker,
The Florida Bar
TELEPHONE: (850) 561-5666
The Florida Bar Board of Governors voted to oppose Amendment 5 – a proposed Florida constitutional amendment relating to state courts – at its October 5 meeting. Amendment 5 would increase the Legislature's authority regarding court rules, increase the access by the legislature to records of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, and require confirmation by the Senate of Supreme Court justices.
The Florida Bar has had a long-standing position in opposition to altering the Supreme Court's authority to adopt rules for practice and procedure in all courts, or any change in the manner by which such rules may be repealed by the Legislature.
"First and foremost, The Florida Bar supports a fair and impartial judicial branch free from any political influence and true to the separation of governmental powers that is critical to our democracy," according to Gwynne Young, President of The Florida Bar.
"The courts' rulemaking process should be primarily within the purview of the court," she said. "Court procedural rules do not concern substantive rights or policy matters which are properly the domain of the Legislature. Amendment 5 would erode the meaningful balance of governmental powers now clearly outlined in Florida's Constitution."
Article V, Section 2(a), of the Florida Constitution provides for the adoption of rules for practice and procedure in all courts by the Supreme Court. Rules of court may now be repealed by general law enacted by two-thirds vote of the membership of each house of the Legislature.
EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."