Rod Smith blasts GOP move to divide Supreme Court

"This is a horrible piece of legislation," Smith added, saying he was also upset about the fact that the Cannon bill would set a fixed amount of funding for the courts. As an aside he also said he didn't believe that Florida voters would pass the measure (It would have to go before the voters next year) by the 60 percent required.


Smith said he wasn't a lobbyist and wasn't telling the 11 Senators at the meeting how they should vote per se, but on this, as well as an elections "reform" bill, the Florida Democratic Party Chair made it clear how he felt.


He was actually invited to the meeting by Democratic Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich to give an update to the body on the status of Amendments 5 & 6. He said he believed resolution of those proposals will ultimately end up in court. The amendments have been subject to a lawsuit by Democrat Corrine Brown and Republican Mario Diaz-Balart. Smith said, "We feel we're on strong grounds" on successfully defending the measures in that case.

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Tallahassee

Florida Democratic Party Chair Rod Smith visited a meeting of the Senate Democratic Caucus Wednesday morning, ostensibly to give an update on the latest issues with Amendments 5 & 6, the measures that would allow for fairer drawing of legislative and congressional districts in Florida.

But he saved his strongest feelings when giving his opinion about the plan by House Speaker Dean Cannon to break up the current seven-member Supreme Court and create two Courts of five Justices each, one for criminal, and one for civil cases.

"This is a change that is the result of one guy being mad over one circumstance, and that was the failure of 7 & 8 to pass muster," Smith snarled, referring to the perception that Cannon is proposing the measure because of his anger that the Court last year threw out two proposed constitutional amendments that the Legislature was backing.

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