Bill No. CS/HJR 7111
Amendment No. 418661
Senate House

1Representative Eisnaugle offered the following:
3     Amendment (with ballot amendment)
B A L L O T  A M E N D M E N T
6     Remove lines 689-898 and insert:
ARTICLE V, SECTIONS 2, 3, 4, 7, 11, 12, 14, AND 21
10     STATE COURTS.-Proposing a revision of Article V of the
11State Constitution relating to the judiciary.
12     Under current law, the Florida Supreme Court is the highest
13court in Florida and hears both civil and criminal cases. It has
147 appointed justices. This revision would divide the current
15Supreme Court into two divisions, one hearing civil cases and
16the other hearing criminal cases. Each division would have 5
17appointed justices who are permanently assigned. The 3 current
18justices who have the most service with the Florida Supreme
19Court would be assigned to the criminal division, the remaining
204 current justices would be assigned to the civil division, and
21the Governor would appoint 3 new justices to fill the remaining
22openings in the two divisions. The existing jurisdiction of the
23Supreme Court would be expanded to allow discretionary review of
24certain district court of appeal decisions. This revision
25generally defines the civil law and criminal law jurisdiction of
26each division, provides for assignment of cases to each
27respective division, and allows the Legislature, by general law,
28to further define the jurisdictions of each division. The
29jurisdiction of a division will be limited to the division's
30area, whether civil or criminal. The power of justices of the
31criminal division to hear appeals from final judgments entered
32in proceedings for the validation of bonds or certificates of
33indebtedness and to review action of statewide agencies relating
34to rates or service of utilities providing electric, gas, or
35telephone service is limited by this revision and granted
36exclusively to the civil division. The power of justices of the
37civil division to issue a writ of habeas corpus and to hear
38appeals from final judgments of trial courts imposing the death
39penalty is limited by this revision and granted exclusively to
40the justices of the criminal division. This revision provides
41that if both divisions assert jurisdiction over a case, the
42Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida will decide where
43jurisdiction is appropriate.
44     This proposed revision also creates a title of chief
45justice in each of the divisions with an 8-year term. The
46constitution currently provides that the Chief Justice of the
47Supreme Court is the administrative head of the state judicial
48system. This revision provides that the position of Chief
49Justice of the Supreme Court will rotate every 4 years between
50the chief justice of the civil division and the chief justice of
51the criminal division. The constitution currently also provides
52that the chief justice is chosen by vote of the justices. This
53revision provides that the initial new justices and the initial
54chief justice of each division will be selected by the Governor
55and future chief justices will be selected by the Governor
56subject to Senate confirmation. A chief justice is, like a
57regular justice under current law, subject to retention election
58and mandatory retirement requirements applicable to all Florida
59justices and judges.
60     Under current law, the Governor appoints a justice from a
61list of nominees provided by a judicial nominating commission,
62and appointments by the Governor are not subject to
63confirmation. Other than the initial 3 new appointees, this
64revision requires Senate confirmation of a justice before the
65appointee can take office. If the Senate votes not to confirm
66the appointment, the judicial nominating commission must
67reconvene and may not renominate any person whose prior
68appointment to fill the same vacancy was not confirmed by the
69Senate. For the purpose of confirmation, the Senate may meet at
70any time or may appoint a committee to decide confirmations
71while the Senate is not in session. If the Senate does not vote
72against confirmation within 90 days, the justice will be deemed
73confirmed and will take office.
74     The State Constitution authorizes the Supreme Court to
75adopt rules for the practice and procedure in all courts. The
76constitution further provides that a rule of court may be
77repealed by a general law enacted by a two-thirds vote of the
78membership of each house of the Legislature. This proposed
79constitutional revision eliminates the requirement that a
80general law repealing a court rule pass by a two-thirds vote of
81each house. The Legislature could repeal a rule of court by a
82general law approved by a majority vote of each house of the
83Legislature that expresses the policy behind the repeal. The
84court could readopt the rule in conformity with the public
85policy expressed by the Legislature, but if the Legislature
86repeals the readopted rule, this proposed revision prohibits the
87court from readopting the repealed rule without the
88Legislature's prior approval. Court rules may be adopted by both
89divisions of the Supreme Court meeting jointly, or the court may
90elect to divide classes of rules between the divisions.
91     The Judicial Qualifications Commission is an independent
92commission created by the State Constitution to investigate and
93prosecute before the Florida Supreme Court alleged misconduct by
94a justice or judge. Currently under the constitution, commission
95proceedings are confidential until formal charges are filed by
96the investigative panel of the commission. Once formal charges
97are filed, the formal charges and all further proceedings of the
98commission are public. Currently, the constitution authorizes
99the House of Representatives to impeach a justice or judge.
100Further, the Speaker of the House of Representatives may
101request, and the Judicial Qualifications Commission must make
102available, all information in the commission's possession for
103use in deciding whether to impeach a justice or judge. This
104proposed revision requires the commission to make all of its
105files available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
106rather than just the file of a justice or judge under
107investigation by the House of Representatives. Such files would
108maintain their confidentiality unless the House of
109Representatives initiates impeachment proceedings against a
110justice or judge, in which case the files related to that
111justice or judge may be open. This revision deletes a
112requirement that a general law repealing a commission rule be
113passed by a majority vote of the membership of each house of the
114Legislature and revises the number of Supreme Court justices
115needed to repeal such a rule.
116     State appropriations are made annually by general law.
117Current law does not require any specific level of funding for
118any agency or department. This revision requires that the courts
119be appropriated a minimum of 2.25 percent of general revenue
120funding beginning with the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
121     This revision will take effect upon its passage by the
122electorate and provides a schedule for implementation of its
123provisions. This revision makes other conforming and modernizing
124changes to the State Constitution regarding the judicial system,
125including removing the positions of clerk and marshal of the
126Supreme Court and the courts of appeal from the constitution;
127providing for transition to the new divisions; removing outdated
128schedules related to the Judicial Qualifications Commission; and
129making conforming and technical changes in the judicial articles
130of the constitution.
132     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be
133placed on the ballot if a court declares the preceding statement
134defective and the decision of the court is not reversed:
ARTICLE V, SECTIONS 2, 3, 4, 7, 11, 12, 14, AND 21
139     JUDICIARY.-Proposing a revision of the Judiciary Article of
140the Florida Constitution; reorganizing the Florida Supreme Court
141into divisions; requiring Senate confirmation for appointment of
142a Supreme Court justice; providing standards and procedures for
143legislative repeal of a court rule; providing a minimum level of
144court funding; allowing legislative review of confidential files
145of the Judicial Qualifications Commission; providing for
146transition; and making other ancillary amendments, including,
147but not limited to, technical and conforming amendments.
149     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be
150placed on the ballot if a court declares the preceding
151statements defective and the decision of the court is not
ARTICLE V, SECTIONS 2, 3, 4, 7, 11, 12, 14, AND 21
157     STATE COURTS.-Proposing a revision to Article V of the
158State Constitution relating to the judiciary; changing the
159authority of the Legislature to repeal a court rule by 2/3 vote
160of the membership of each house to a simple majority of each
161house; limiting the Supreme Court's ability to readopt a rule
162repealed by the Legislature; replacing the current seven-member
163Supreme Court with two five-member divisions of the Supreme
164Court, one with civil jurisdiction and one with criminal
165jurisdiction; establishing a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
166who shall serve as the chief administrative officer for the
167courts; establishing a chief justice for the civil division of
168the Supreme Court; establishing a chief justice for the criminal
169division of the Supreme Court; providing for the manner of
170selection and term for the chief justice of each division of the
171Supreme Court; changing the manner of designation and term of
172office of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; providing that
173a chief justice of a division of the Supreme Court is subject to
174a retention election and eligibility requirements as currently
175established in the State Constitution; providing for manner of
176replacement of a chief justice of a division; providing for
177apportionment of current justices among the civil and criminal
178divisions of the Supreme Court; changing the requirements for a
179quorum from four to three as being necessary for a decision;
180providing authority and circumstances where the divisions of the
181Supreme Court may meet en banc; providing jurisdiction for each
182division of the Supreme Court, including matters which will be
183exclusive to each division; clarifying the jurisdiction of the
184Supreme Court to hear appeals from certain district court of
185appeal decisions; providing that the Legislature may further
186define the split of jurisdiction between civil and criminal
187matters; providing that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
188decides jurisdiction should both divisions claim jurisdiction
189over the same case; removing references to clerks and marshals;
190requiring Senate confirmation before a justice may take office;
191providing that if the Senate does not act within 90 days the
192nominee is deemed confirmed as a justice; allowing the Senate to
193meet outside of regular session without having the House of
194Representatives convene at the same time; allowing Senate Rule
195to designate a committee that may confirm a nominee; deleting
196outdated references; requiring the Judicial Qualifications
197Commission to provide the House of Representatives access to
198records; providing for confidentiality of records; requiring a
199minimum level of funding for the judicial system; providing for
200transition; requiring the current Supreme Court to list its
201members by seniority in office; providing that the three most
202senior justices be assigned to the criminal division and the
203remaining justices assigned to the criminal division; providing
204time limits for appointments by the Governor for the remaining
205seats; providing an exception to Senate confirmation for initial
206appointments; requiring the Governor to name the initial chief
207justice of each division; providing that the initial chief
208justice of the civil division be named the Chief Justice of the
209Supreme Court; requiring that existing cases be split between
210the divisions; providing that cases decided before the split
211into divisions are final and not subject to rehearing or recall
212of the mandate; providing for the terms of the initial chief
213justices of the divisions; providing for adoption of court
214rules; allowing the Legislature by general law to further
215provide for transition; providing that the transition schedules
216may be deleted by general law when they have become outdated.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.