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Florida Amendment 5 deals with state courts and could have a major impact on Florida government

8:45 AM, Oct 12, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - There are some very controversial amendments you'll be asked to vote on in the November election. We're breaking down Amendment 5. It deals with state courts and could have a major impact on Florida government.

We learned about the separation of powers back in middle school. The Constitution writers decided to base our governmental system on three separate branches: executive, judicial and legislative.

With enough votes in November, Amendment 5 could bring a big change of power in Florida politics.

USF Professor, Seth McKee says plain and simple, it's a power grab.

"We're really seeing the legislature want to reign in the judiciary. This is fundamental to what we believe about separation of powers."

McKee says this Amendment would weaken the selection of who's chosen to be on the Supreme Court and then the court's decision making power.

"This would really undercut that in the sense that, whereas previously the governor picks someone on the Supreme Court from a commission, a pool, now the Senate would actually get a veto over that and has the power to confirm, they have to approve of the Governor's pick."

He said that would change who the Governor is thinking of nominating knowing the state legislature, the state senate in particular, has to approve.

"Second part, whereas in the past it took two-thirds majority or a supermajority in both chambers of the Florida legislature to overrule a court decision, now it's a simple majority."

Here's a look at the sample ballot.

10 News has more on other Amendments on the 2012 ballot:

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