Rick Scott Is Preparing to Pack the State Supreme Court After His Term Ends

By Mark Joseph Stern of Slate.com, 09/12/2018:

On Jan. 8, 2019, a new governor of Florida will be sworn in. On that same day, three of the Florida Supreme Court’s seven justices will complete their final terms. Based on those facts alone, you might assume that the new Florida governor will have the opportunity to select these justices’ replacements. That, however, is not at all clear—because current Republican Gov. Rick Scott has declared his intent to replace them hours before his term concludes. He is now moving forward with this plan to pack the court. And the only people who can stop him are the current justices themselves.

Scott insists that the justices’ terms expire at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 8, but that his own term does not end until his successor is sworn in on that day, typically at noon. Thus, he believes he will have about 12 hours to name three new justices, shifting the court to the right for a generation. Scott announced this plan when he appointed his first justice in 2016, declaring: “I will appoint three more justices on the morning I finish my term.”

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