The number of judges facing sanctions in Florida jumped last year, and the high court is more often seeking harsher penalties than those originally proposed by the state Judicial Qualifications Commission.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s ultimate decision in the Florida case could have far-reaching ramifications, as 30 of the 39 states that elect judges have some kind of restriction on judicial candidates making personal pitches for campaign money.
Leon County Judge Judith Hawkins was running a business called Gaza Road Ministries, used a judicial assistant and sold her own books to attorneys who appeared before her.
Justice Pariente noted that the Innocence Commission analyzed wrongful convictions and highlighted eyewitness misidentification, which has been a factor in 75 percent of convictions later exonerated through DNA evidence nationally.
Scorn for “activist judges” has been a staple of the Republican playbook ever since it was Earl Warren’s Supreme Court. Now that it’s John Roberts’s court–or should we say Antonin Scalia’s?–and a Democratic president is calling them out, the rhetorical roles have reversed overnight.
The $31 million statewide budget cut in clerks of court’s budgets translates to a loss of $90,000 to Flagler County’s court system, and up to three jobs, adding to successive cuts going back to 2008 that Clerk Gail Wadsworth calls unsustainable.
The proposed constitutional amendment would create a criminal and civil supreme court, change the way justices are picked and the way the judicial system is funded, but the idea may be dying.
In the race for the 7th judicial district’s court seat Judge Hammond is vacating, Dennis Craig and Joe Horrox are two competent, unexciting choices, though Craig’s experience is more varied.