Finally, the Florida Supreme Court is changing

One of the most significant changes happening at the moment in the ideological complexion of the courts is not related to the federal courts at all. The Florida Supreme Court, for many years firmly in the hands of a liberal majority of justices, is likely to take a new turn with three appointments from new governor Ron DeSantis, a conservative Republican who campaigned against what he called judicial activism. The previous court is remembered especially for holding the national stage during the 2000 Bush v. Gore controversy. Among its other hits, it killed a school voucher program and liberalized tort law in such areas as premises, municipal, recreational, and rental-equipment liability. It also repeatedly struck down legislation aimed at reining in litigious excess in such areas as medical liability and expert testimony. [David Freddoso, Washington Examiner]


  • Ron DeSantis did relatively well among minorities, compared to the typical Republican. Perhaps thanks to issues like school vouchers. He got 44% of the Hispanic vote, and about 15% of the black vote. Trump got far less. Romney got far fewer black votes: Obama got over 95% of the Florida black vote. Far more black voters support school vouchers than support the typical GOP candidate.

    Apparently, Florida voters cared more about substantive issues than whether DeSantis criticized the opposing (African-American) Democratic candidate for governor..

    Two of the three people DeSantis appointed to the Florida Supreme Court are Hispanic (Carlos Muniz and Barbara Lagoa). This debunks Will Wilkinson’s bizarre claim on Twitter that DeSantis is an “ethno-nationalist extremist.”

    Far from being extreme, DeSantis’s policies appear to be a continuation of Rick Scott’s policies in the realm of economics, crime, civil litigation, and education.

  • As a practitioner in Florida, I hope so. The Court’s refusal to adopt the Daubert standard for expert witness testimony (despite a legislative attempt to force the issue through a change to the evidence code) is merely the latest of a long line of judicial travesties committed by the Court. It’s been very favorable to the plaintiff’s bar for years.