The Florida Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the case against Gov. Rick Scott over whether he has the authority to appoint three new justices on the last day of his term.
The court on Friday set argument for 9 a.m. Nov. 1.
For now, the matter will be heard by the court’s seven justices, including the three—R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy A. Quince—whose age-required retirements occasioned the suit.
Court spokesman Craig Waters said any process for justices to recuse themselves would begin with motions to the court. “Then the justices would consider the reasons given,” he added.
“A maximum of twenty minutes to the side is allowed for the argument, but counsel is expected to use only so much of that time as is necessary,” the court’s docket said. “No continuances will be granted except upon a showing of extreme hardship.”
Progressive groups are battling Scott over whether he can replace the three liberal-leaning justices, who will be retiring in early 2019.
Scott has said he plans to name their replacements the morning of his last day in office, Jan. 8. His attorneys have argued that their age-mandated retirements also will become effective Jan. 8.
The League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVF) and Common Cause counter that Scott can’t replace those justices because he’ll be out of office earlier on the same day they retire, and their final judicial terms last till midnight.
They seek a “writ of quo warranto,” a court action against government officials to demand they prove their authority to perform a certain action.