League of Women Voters Brings Opposition to Legislature to the Capitol

By: Jim Turner | Posted: February 22, 2012 3:55 AM

The League of Women Voters of Florida, with four lawsuits now in place against the actions of state legislators, prepped members at the Governors Club in Tallahassee Tuesday night, with a demonstration planned at the Capitol on Wednesday.

Alex Villalobos

Sen. Alex Villalobos

Meanwhile, Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami, outlined his opposition to Amendment 5, which legislators placed on the 2012 ballot last year.

The amendment would require Senate confirmation for the governor's judicial appointments, give the House access to confidential judicial investigations and make it easier for the Legislature to repeal judicial procedural rules enacted by the court.

“Regardless of how you feel about the courts, I don’t want money to influence how the justice system appeal works," Villalobos said. "It works.  

“I don’t want a judge, when they’re reading a case in front of them, to think ‘I better vote this way otherwise this company is going to fund a campaign against me. That’s a terrible way to run a democracy and run our state.”

House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, who championed the effort last year, has said the changes would enable the court to operate more efficiently.

Nearly 80 members from the League’s different branches throughout the state are in the capital for the nonprofit’s three-day 2012 Old Capitol Gala. They will be in the Capitol Wednesday morning talking individually with lawmakers before holding a meet-and-greet later in the day in the Cabinet meeting room.

Deirdre Macnab

Deirdre Macnab

“There are those of us who are still fighting the battle to protect our election laws, still fighting the battle to make sure we have the right to cast our vote and that we have transparency in government, ethics in government and so many other areas that the League of Women Voters fights for across this state,” said Deirdre Macnab, League president.

The League has two lawsuits in place against election-law changes enacted by state officials in 2011 and two more against the recently filed legislative redistricting proposals.

One of the lawsuits against redistricting is already headed to the state Supreme Court, which is why Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady had to back out of his scheduled appearance Tuesday.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (2)

Steve Imes
12:35AM FEB 23RD 2012
Thank heaven for these dedicated, non-partisan volunteers trying to keep the legislature from wrecking democracy in Florida. From the days when my mother was in League until today, their goal was educating and empowering people in self-government.
11:04AM FEB 22ND 2012
League of Women Voters = Leftist hags.

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