Florida: So when is HJR 7111 appearing on the ballot? And why does it matter?

I noted several weeks ago the potential machinations behind the voting on the heavily amended Florida HJR 7111. A recap: the bill originally was going to split the Florida Supreme Court in two, put the Democratically-appointed justices in the new criminal division, and allow GOP-appointed justices control over the civil division. What is making it … Continue reading Florida: So when is HJR 7111 appearing on the ballot? And why does it matter?

Omnibus bill week 2011: Florida HJR 7111

I noted that April 7 was a big day in the Florida House Judiciary Committee, with 9 separate bills affecting a wide range of elements of the judiciary. Elements of the nine, and some other bills that were not on the calendar that day, were consolidated and passed as a Committee Substitute to HJR 7111 … Continue reading Omnibus bill week 2011: Florida HJR 7111

Arizona: new plan to stack supreme court introduced and clears committee in hours; over a dozen efforts to change supreme court composition in last decade

A plan to expand the Arizona Supreme Court from 5 to 7 members was added at the last minute to a bill in the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. HB 2076 as introduced had nothing to do with the state’s supreme court. An amendment to that bill however deleted the bill’s contents and replaced it with … Continue reading Arizona: new plan to stack supreme court introduced and clears committee in hours; over a dozen efforts to change supreme court composition in last decade

Efforts to change state constitutions to remove/alter Judicial Council or Supreme Court rulemaking authority – Part 1

Most state constitutions grant their court of last resort, typically called the “supreme court”, or their judicial council some degree of rulemaking authority. My colleagues here at the National Center have a listing of all such provisions here. In the last several years, however, legislatures have made efforts to amend or alter those provisions. This … Continue reading Efforts to change state constitutions to remove/alter Judicial Council or Supreme Court rulemaking authority – Part 1

Recent legislative efforts to eliminate, or create, bifurcated criminal and civil appellate courts

The recent impeachment efforts against Oklahoma’s Supreme Court justices for intervening in a criminal case normally handled by the state’s other “top court” (Court of Criminal Appeals) drew attention to the almost unique situation found in that state of having two courts of last resort (COLRs) split between civil and criminal. Only one other state … Continue reading Recent legislative efforts to eliminate, or create, bifurcated criminal and civil appellate courts

New Jersey Senate: resolution would end “filibusters” of state judges; other states consider or have similar measures citing U.S. Senate impasse

Citing the recent end of the filibuster in the U.S. Senate, a New Jersey Senate Republican introduced a resolution in that chamber to end the practice of delay or as he put it “filibuster” of judicial nominees in that state; see this Newark Star-Ledger article for details and this press release from the author of the … Continue reading New Jersey Senate: resolution would end “filibusters” of state judges; other states consider or have similar measures citing U.S. Senate impasse

In moves similar to Florida in 2011, Kansas House committee votes to split supreme court; end merit selection, force judges off bench at age 65

I mentioned yesterday the ongoing fight over merit selection for the Kansas Supreme Court. Yesterday was a very, very busy day and night. During the day, the Kansas Bar Association’s executive committee unanimously rejected a proposal to change the state’s merit system that would give the governor the power to name 5 members of the … Continue reading In moves similar to Florida in 2011, Kansas House committee votes to split supreme court; end merit selection, force judges off bench at age 65

Did Kansas Senator threaten funding for courts if judges didn’t accept change to merit selection? Similar efforts occurred in FL in 2011.

I’ve mentioned over the last two years the numerous efforts by Kansas Republicans to change the merit selection system used for the state’s appellate courts. Efforts to change it by statute for the Court of Appeals was approved earlier this year, but GOP members have not gotten the 2/3rds of the House needed to change … Continue reading Did Kansas Senator threaten funding for courts if judges didn’t accept change to merit selection? Similar efforts occurred in FL in 2011.

For fourth time in five years, Florida bills would provide additional funding for courts, but only if judicial immunity is retroactively ended and judicial disciplinary commission changed

I’ve mentioned the past several years Florida’s efforts to tie funding for the courts to changes in either merit selection or court structure. For example at one point an effort to split the state’s supreme court into civil and criminal courts, an move all Democratically appointed justices of the current court to the new criminal … Continue reading For fourth time in five years, Florida bills would provide additional funding for courts, but only if judicial immunity is retroactively ended and judicial disciplinary commission changed

Over a dozen efforts to alter number of state supreme court justices, almost all related to “packing” the courts, in last several years

With the activity in NC today, and similar efforts underway in SC, I thought I’d review the efforts over the last several years to alter the structure of state supreme courts, as well as how they fared. 2007/2008 Florida: a state senator introduced SB 408 in 2007 to expand the state’s Supreme Court from 7 … Continue reading Over a dozen efforts to alter number of state supreme court justices, almost all related to “packing” the courts, in last several years