The court has begun the process of reconsidering whether changes to Florida’s death penalty-sentencing system should continue being applied retroactively to cases dating to 2002.
florida supreme court
Justices, in a pair of 6-1 opinions Thursday, overturned the two rulings. The only dissenter in both cases: Justice Jorge Labarga, who had sided with Pariente, Lewis and Quince in January.
Tuesday’s actions could signal how the new majority will come down on future business-related disputes and could spark state lawmakers, whose annual session begins in March, to consider business-backed legislation to address issues that the old court had foiled.
The appointment of Muniz, 49, solidifies a conservative majority on the court after years of justices regularly thwarting the Republican-led Legislature and the GOP governor.
None of the nine candidates from whom Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis will select three justices is black, although six of the original 59 applicants were African-Americans.
In a 4-3 decision, the court held that the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission was acting within its authority to conduct a process that resulted in 59 judges and lawyers applying to replace justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince.
The Supreme Court made the somewhat-unusual move of backing away from a 1995 decision, which said a weapon must be “commonly understood to be an instrument for combat.”
The winner of the Nov. 6 election between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum “has the sole authority” to fill the court vacancies, the court ruled.
In a case that could alter the future of Florida’s highest court, Scott’s lawyers said the governor retains the power to select replacements for justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince, who are all leaving in January.
Chief Judge Raul Zambrano’s order, delivered to DuPont by letter today, is as close to the firing of a judge short of a Supreme Court impeachment, and follows an investigation’s withering recommendation for removal.