Highlighting the Florida Supreme Court’s Preference to Protect Government Regulation Over Private Property Rights
Tallahassee – Americans for Prosperity’s Florida Chapter (AFP-FL) released a new video today as part of their You Be the Judge project. The second video in a series, it focuses on the 2011 case of SJRWMD v Koontz in which the court invalidated a number of lower court decisions that stated the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) had effectively stolen private property from the Koontz’s. The family was awarded $367,000 in damages but the Supreme Court overturned that ruling saying that it could cause government regulation to cost too much.
“In 2011 the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling in SJRWMD v Koontz displayed the court’s preference for protecting government’s ability to regulate us rather than protecting our private property rights. Our fundamental rights should trump the ease of government,” said AFP-FL’s State Director Slade O’Brien. “This is another example of the Florida Supreme Court’s willingness to base their decision on the potential policy effects rather than on core fundamental rights. The Court’s bias for a heavy-handed government won out against the rights of a private citizen.
Mr. O’Brien continued, “The judiciary must remain independent and impartial, but in order for that to happen citizens must be knowledgeable about the Court’s decisions and voice their concerns when the court oversteps their authority. Our critics have accused us of trying to politicize the judiciary, but I say far from it. We are calling attention to the court’s decisions that have in fact politicized the bench, allowing their own views to usurp the law and separation of powers, by clearly identifying rulings that bear these instances out. It is the rulings that should be reviewed, discussed, debated and we believe criticized, not the individuals calling attention to them.”
This is the second video AFP-FL has released regarding the Florida Supreme Court. The first highlighted the court’s decision to strike a 2010 amendment from the ballot, denying citizens their right to vote and amend their Constitution. The project’s website, www.YouBeTheJudgeFL.com, highlights a number of cases that demonstrate the court’s inclination to legislate from the bench and allow their own policy preferences to cloud their decisions