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Kelli Stargel is not convinced the Florida University system needs an overhaul after the UCF scandal.

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Lawmaker takes aim at constitutional challenges

The bill seeks to ensure a single court does not effectively have a monopoly over constitutional cases.

After Leon County circuit judges have repeatedly ruled that state laws are unconstitutional, a Senate Republican wants to open the possibility of constitutional challenges being decided in other parts of Florida.

Sen. Kelli Stargel of Lakeland filed a bill (SB 1630) Friday that would lead to the Florida Supreme Court using a “blind, random selection process” to assign constitutional challenges to circuit courts across the state.

Currently, the cases are filed in Leon County, which is home to the Capitol.

But under the proposal, Leon County circuit judges would only hear the cases if assigned through the random selection process.

“It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that a single trial court does not effectively have a monopoly over cases raising issues of statewide, constitutional importance,” said the bill, filed for the legislative session that starts Tuesday.

Leon County judges recently, for example, have ruled that regulations approved by lawmakers violated a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

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Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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