A Republican-sponsored proposal to give the GOP-dominated Legislature more control over Florida’s court system has been defeated at the polls, reports the Associated Press. The vote Tuesday for Amendment 5 was defeated by a margin of nearly two to one: 63 percent opposed, 37 percent in favor. All state constitutional amendments need at least 60 percent to pass.
Amendment 5 would have given the Senate authority to confirm or deny the appointment of Florida Supreme Court justices by the governor. It also would have made it easier for the Legislature to veto court rules. The legal community was solidly against what critics called a power grab and threat to the judiciary’s independence. GOP lawmakers contended it would make the courts more accountable. The amendment was one of eight sponsored by the GOP that failed Tuesday. Some complained that the long roster of amendments clogged the ballot, slowed voting and led to long lines at polling place.