SUPREME COURT APPOINTMENTS In what is considered a preemptive move, the Florida League of Women Voters and Common Cause have filed a petition with the Florida Supreme Court asking it to determine whether Governor Scott has the authority to fill supreme court vacancies. Three current justices must retire on January 8, 2019, the same day a new governor will assume office. Scott believes he can appoint their successors, while the plaintiffs disagree. A 2014 proposed constitutional amendment would have allowed the Governor to make such appointments, but voters rejected it by 52 percent. The petition seeks clarification prior to the appointments.
LOCAL GAMING REFERENDUMS The Florida Supreme has ruled against a North Florida Native American racetrack when it affirmed the denial of a slot machine permit for the facility. Gadsden County voters, through a local referendum, had approved the expansion of gambling in their county. However, the Court ruled that counties lack the authority to approve such measures.
CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD SUBPEONA POWERS The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that a local government citizen investigative panel does not have the power to issue subpoenas to police officers in cases heard before them. The ruling stated such powers would be contrary to the existing Police Officers Bill of Rights, and therefore is unconstitutional.
PAIN AND SUFFERING DAMAGES In a 4-3 decision, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that pain and suffering limits in medical malpractice cases are unconstitutional. A 2003 law had capped the possible noneconomic damages based upon factors such as number of claimants and types of defendants.