Florida Governor vetoes $400,000 “study” of splitting state’s supreme court

As readers know I have been tracking extensively the recent efforts by the Florida House Speaker to split the state’s supreme court. When it became clear his plan (HJR 7111) was not going to make it, a last minute budget amendment was added to provide a $400,000 “study” of the items in HJR 7111 and related bills. It was anticipated this study would reach a particular conclusion to the Speaker’s liking, giving the basis for another push for HJR 7111 or something like it in the 2012 session.

As our friends at Gavel Grab noted (here and here) the study was widely panned and the governor was urged to line-item veto the item. Gov. Rick Scott last week indeed vetoed the $400,000 study, noting in his veto message

I support the Legislature’s concept of reviewing the efficiency and structure of the administration of the Supreme Court, the nominating commissions and the Judicial Qualifications Commission and the effectiveness of the judicial merit retention system. However, I believe that during these tough economic times, we cannot afford to spend $400,000 on this otherwise worthwhile review.

The veto could be over-ridden, but is is exceptionally unlikely. As an article in Businessweek noted in 2010, Florida lawmakers have not had a successful override in 12 years and have only had two overrides in the last 24 years.

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