Controversial Florida judicial circuit merger faces committee resistance

State Appellate Districts, Circuits, and Counties // Credit:


Amid overwhelming opposition to consolidation, a committee appointed by the Florida Supreme Court on Friday unanimously recommended against shrinking the number of judicial circuits in the state.

Speaker of the House Paul Renner introduced the proposal in June. He said the consolidation would lead to “greater efficiency” in the judicial process.

But many members of this committee disagree, including Lee County Circuit Judge Margaret Steinbeck.

“I’m hard-pressed to see how consolidation would meaningfully impact clearance rates wherever they are a problem.”

A clearance rate is an indicator of whether a court is keeping up with its incoming caseload.

In Hillsborough County, there have been below-average historical clearance rates for some cases. However, a report discussed in this meeting revealed that most recent numbers are trending upwards or are consistent with the rest of the state.

Broward County Judge Robert Lee spoke about the findings.

“I know that judges in Hillsborough County recognize they have a tremendous caseload, but just to wrap it back up, they just certainly don’t feel that consolidation will assist with that one way or another.”

Critics of the consolidation, including State Representative Michele Rayner, say it’s a move by the governor to ensure democratic prosecutors aren’t elected.

The next meeting is on November 17th via Zoom. These meetings were set to be private but were opened to the public after outcry. The committee will make a recommendation on the consolidation in December.

information from News Service of Florida was used in this report

You may also like

Pro-Palestine march through the streets of Sarasota

On Saturday about 30 pro-Palestinian demonstrators took to the streets...

Middle East Shadow War, Florida Bans and “Civil War”

Patró Mabíli, ready to elucidate. Despite 2023 being deemed the...

Vaping Concerns, Black Mold Exposure, and More with Dr. Fred Harvey

In this episode of the "Healthy Steps Show" with Dr....

school classroom
Governor Ron DeSantis to Sign New Education Bill Focused on Enhancing Education and Preventing Political Interference

The Hillsborough County School Board has approved putting the question...

Ways to listen

WMNF is listener-supported. That means we don't advertise like a commercial station, and we're not part of a university.

Ways to support

WMNF volunteers have fun providing a variety of needed services to keep your community radio station alive and kickin'.

Follow us on Instagram

The Morning Show Tuesday
Player position: