The ball’s in Crist’s court

Governor has opportunity to remake Florida’s judiciary

Charlie Crist will pick four new justices to serve on Florida’s highest court. Two justices have announced their plans to resign, and two are scheduled to retire. This presents the governor with the opportunities to fill four vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court.

This much-anticipated makeover of Florida’s Supreme Court will affect all Floridians. The selection process will not be an easy task for the governor. His appointments will set the tone for the rest of Florida courts to follow.

Rampant lawsuit abuse plagues our state, and our courts too often foster these abuses. This is detrimental to our economy, our health care, our pocketbooks and our communities.

It is critical that we have balanced justices who will fairly interpret the law. Many improvements are needed in the state’s legal system. Florida recently has earned dubious recognition as the worst legal system (50th) in the nation by the Pacific Research Institute, and South Florida was named the No. 1 “Judicial Hellhole” in the nation by the American Tort Reform Association. These designations reflect poorly on our courts, our economy and our future as a state.

Floridians now look to Crist to use these Supreme Court appointments to help every Floridian and ensure that our courts are used for justice, not greed. By appointing good, balanced justices to the high court, Crist has an opportunity to reshape the legal climate in Florida. His choices can restore fairness and credibility to the Sunshine State. Florida needs to be back on top.

Gov. Crist, seize the opportunity.

Carlos Muhletaler is the executive director of Florida Stop Lawsuit Abuse, headquartered in Boca Raton.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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