In a first for Gavel to Gavel, I am updating the blog with a video of legislative hearings related to just some of the bills I’ve been tracking in 2011. Hopefully this will be the first of many such efforts.
Around this time last year, I ran a special series for a week of posts related to judicial retirement plans/pensions (see here). It was so remarkably well received I have decided to do it again this year, starting today with the Northeastern states, followed by Midwestern, Southern, and Western each day.
Gavel to Gavel focuses on legislation affecting the courts. Yet in many or most states (depending on year) the chief justice has the opportunity to come into the legislature or addresses legislative leaders directly in the form of State of the Judiciary Addresses. This year, Gavel to Gavel the Blog will be tracking them with links to give some idea of what the chief justices are asking from the legislatures.
The National Center for State Courts has an archive of 2011, 2010, and previous years State of the Judiciary addresses located here.
It has been awhile since last this blog was updated, but with the state legislatures set to come back into session, the blog is being renewed and activated yet again.
This legislative session promises to be very hectic, with all states set to come in with very changed compositions and budget woes aplenty.
Gavel to Gavel the publication will start to come out in its free weekly editions starting this Thursday (December 9). Those interested in subscribing are encouraged to do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your thoughts, ideas, posts, and questions are welcome. You can reach me at email@example.com.
Editor, Gavel to Gavel
Gavel to Gavel: The Blog is designed to be more expansive, in terms of both content and contributors, than the original e-publication. Writers will be key contributors on the front lines of legislation and the courts.
This week marks the first such contribution from Cristina Alonso, an attorney with Carlton Fields and co-chair of the NCSC Young Lawyers committee.
Florida’s legislature is not yet in session, but already has several bills to contend with foreclosures and the courts. SB 1778 and HB 75 provide procedural requirements and limitations for plaintiffs, defendants, and courts in certain foreclosure actions, including a requirement for court-ordered mediation. The bills would require that the Florida Supreme Court create “the form and content notices, affidavits, certificates, liens, and other forms required” and require Circuit Clerks to “provide all forms, together with instructions in English and Spanish, to a pro se defendant seeking assistance in any foreclosure action. Such forms shall be provided at no cost to the defendant.” Both bills are currently pending in various committees of both chambers.
Over the last several years, a variety of efforts have been made to remove judges from the bench for their decisions. A Gavel to Gavel Focus piece from 2007 (located here) examined many of those efforts. Since 2007, few similar attempts were made, however 2009 and 2010 are proving a upsurge in impeachment or other removal attempts, with five such efforts. This week, we’ll be examining the legislative activity surrounding them.
Welcome to Gavel to Gavel: The Blog.
When Gavel to Gavel began publication in 2007, it was to identify trends in legislation affecting the courts. The publication was always meant to be a means to inform the ongoing debates regarding the relationship between the judiciary and legislature. With the addition of the Gavel to Gavel database in 2009, this was expanded to allow for those interested in the courts to more easily discover what it was legislatures in other states were considering. This expansion into the blogosphere was the next logical step.
This blog is intended to be a relatively open forum to provide more depth and analysis than what can be provided for in the weekly publication. The blog will also include posts from readers and others to discuss and elaborate on the pending legislation, either as subject experts or people in-state who can better lay out the environment. This is not so much a replacement for the weekly edition, but an extension.
Editor, Gavel to Gavel