AFP-FL: The Florida Supreme Court Is An Activist Court

October 25, 2012

Tallahassee – Americans for Prosperity Florida’s (AFP-FL) State Director Slade O’Brien responds to Elizabeth Price Foley’s comments regarding the release of her white paper on the Florida Supreme Court:

“I’m truly shocked by the position taken by Elizabeth Price Foley and believe it is completely contrary to the Federalist Society’s own mission statement, which states specifically that, “it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.” (Emphasis added)

Ms. Foley has written a paper that amounts to little more than apologist piece for the most activist court in our country.  In analyzing the Supreme Court’s decisions we are all in agreement that the merit of the justices shouldn’t be based on the results of the cases, but rather on their reasoning. Ms. Foley’s superficial analysis summarizes and rehashes the majority’s opinions, in defense of how they could be viewed, instead of looking at why the justices arrived at those decisions.

The position that the Court’s conclusions represent little more than two sides of a story is always the case with legal gymnastics.  Of course an argument for the Court’s position could be made, or else they wouldn’t have been able to come to their desired conclusions.  However, if the Court made decisions with a lack of impartiality, if they inserted their own personal opinions, or if they ruled based on potential policy ramifications, it is activism plain and simple.

You either believe in judicial restraint or you don’t. You are either a strict constitutionalist or you are not.  You don’t get to have it both ways. To state there are many paths to reach a decision is to admit the law can be bent toward a desired outcome.  This is exactly what we have argued — that this court has abused its power to achieve a desire result.   It is indeed a shame that Professor Foley didn’t have the courage to state that fact.”

View AFP-FL’s You Be The Judge Website, including videos and breakdowns highlighting some of the Florida Supreme Court’s activist opinions at

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