Cannon modifies court reform proposal

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House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, has changed some of his court reform proposals in response to criticism from stakeholders, reports the News Service of Florida. Rather than having two Supreme Courts, Cannon is now proposing a single Supreme Court with a civil and criminal division, he said Wednesday. The court would also be boosted from seven justices to 10, with five in each division. The governor would appoint a chief justice for each division. He has also backed down on a proposal to require a 60 percent voter approval for a judge to be retained. A modified bill in the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday will contain these changes. But Cannon is still pursuing changes to the Judicial Nominating Commission and wants to provide the House with access to the files and records of the Judicial Qualifications Commission. Cannon has also suggested two major changes, one which would allow Supreme Court to consider appeals even if there is no conflict between the district courts of appeals or the Supreme court on the law. That would allow for many more cases to be considered by the court. Cannon has also suggested providing a minimum appropriation for the courts equal to 2.25 percent of general revenue for each year. Cannon said the intent is to provide the Supreme Court with predictability on funding.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.