Florida rejects change in justices selection

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Florida voters have rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have changed which governor chooses certain future Supreme Court justices and appellate judges.

Amendment 3 would have allowed an outgoing governor rather than the incoming one to choose new Supreme Court justices after three retire due to age limits in 2019. With over half the expected vote counted, the amendment had only 48 percent approval, well short of the 60 percent needed to pass.

The amendment was added to the ballot by the Republican-led Legislature, which billed it as a needed clarification. Democrats and many legal commentators called it an attempted court-packing power grab.

The amendment’s failure means the governor taking office in January 2019 will appoint the three new Supreme Court justices.

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