Time for the Florida Senate to Step Up

by Gary Marx

A large coalition of more than 49 Florida Tea Party groups, the NRA, and members of the civil-justice community are urging the Florida State Senate to pass legislation that would significantly improve Florida’s judicial-selection process. Florida is a Missouri Plan state, which means that Bar and left-leaning special-interest groups essentially decide who gets to be a judge.

Thanks to the leadership of Speaker Dean Cannon, the Florida State House passed legislation (HB 7101) that would significantly overhaul that process and bring Florida more in line with the method of selection enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, it would eliminate the Bar’s official and privileged role in the selection process and place more discretion in the hands of the governor. Unfortunately, the reform legislation has stalled in the state senate, leading conservative groups to sound alarms.

The state senate is led by Sen. Mike Haridopolos, who is also hoping to be the next Republican U.S. senator from Florida. This legislation presents him with an opportunity to show leadership on one of the most important issues he would deal with as a U.S. senator.