Florida: House committee approves 3 bills focused on courts; appellate term limits + removing supreme court’s power over training of judges

Angry at recent state court decisions against the legislature,  members of the House have moved a series of bills targeting the judiciary in general and the state’s supreme court in particular. The House Civil Justice and Claims Subcommittee yesterday cleared 3 bills in this area:

HJR 1, which was approved 8-7 and discussed here, limits appellate judges (Supreme Court and District Courts of Appeal) to 12 consecutive years in office and prohibits them from being reappointed for 1 year after leaving office. Proponents complained the state’s retention election system was “broken” because no appellate judge had ever lost a race and that therefore term limits were required.

HB 175 approved 11-5 would remove the supreme court’s power over judicial training and shift it to the Florida Court Educational Council which currently advises the supreme court on judicial education.

HB 301 approved 13-3 and discussed here requires the Florida Supreme Court to provide a “detailed explanation” to the governor and legislature when a case goes longer than 180 days from oral argument to decision.

The bills now move on to the full Judiciary Committee.