Sunday, April 08, 2018

SB 186 Unconstitutional? Read State Senator Travis Hutson's resign-to-run for Congress law, which now faces possible litigation; is Commissioner James Kenneth Johns Required to Resign to Run?

Among Tallahassee Republicans who laugh at unjust laws, is the prevailing attitude,"What's the Constitution among friends?"

SB 186 Unconstitutional?

Read Travis Hutson's resign-to-run-for-Congress law below.

It faces possible litigation, which may answer the question: is St. Johns County Commissioner James Kenneth Johns now required to resign for the open seat in the Sixth Congressional District, being vacated by Congressman Ronald Deon DeSantis' run for Governor?

My answer: This state law sets qualifications to run for Congress, which may be unconstitutional under U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995).

The Record reports that litigation may be filed in South Florida challenging Senator Travis Hutson's new amendment to stat resign-to-run law.

Passed Senate 27-7 (January 31, 2018) and House 77-27 (March 7, 2018), I reckon that Senator Hutson's SB 186 law may be unconstitutional.

SB 186 purports to plug the "'Charlie' Crist loophole, which was written when Crist was salivating to be Vice Presidential nominee with the Republican nominee, who turned out to be Arizona Republican U.S. Senator John McCain in 2008, who chose an obscure Alaskan Governor to be his running mate instead of "'Sorry Charlie' Crist" a/k/a "ex-Florida Governor-who-was-a-Republican-before-he-was-an-independent-before-he-was-a-Democrat."

Here's the change wrought by SB 186:

  Section 1. Present subsections (4) through (7) of section
   17  99.012, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (5)
   18  through (8), respectively, a new subsection (4) is added to that
   19  section, and present subsection (7) of that section is amended,
   20  to read:
   21         99.012 Restrictions on individuals qualifying for public
   22  office.—
   23         (4)(a) Any officer who qualifies for federal public office
   24  must resign from the office he or she presently holds if the
   25  terms, or any part thereof, run concurrently with each other.
   26         (b) The resignation is irrevocable.
   27         (c) The resignation must be submitted at least 10 days
   28  before the first day of qualifying for the office he or she
   29  intends to seek.
   30         (d) The written resignation must be effective no later than
   31  the earlier of the following dates:
   32         1. The date the officer would take office, if elected; or
   33         2. The date the officer’s successor is required to take
   34  office.
   35         (e)1. An elected district, county, or municipal officer
   36  shall submit his or her resignation to the officer before whom
   37  he or she qualified for the office he or she holds, with a copy
   38  to the Governor and the Department of State.
   39         2. An appointed district, county, or municipal officer
   40  shall submit his or her resignation to the officer or authority
   41  which appointed him or her to the office he or she holds, with a
   42  copy to the Governor and the Department of State.
   43         3. All other officers shall submit their resignations to
   44  the Governor with a copy to the Department of State.
   45         (f)1. The failure of an officer who qualifies for federal
   46  public office to submit a resignation pursuant to this
   47  subsection constitutes an automatic irrevocable resignation,
   48  effective immediately, from the office he or she presently
   49  holds.
   50         2. The Department of State shall send a notice of the
   51  automatic resignation to the Governor, and in the case of a
   52  district, county, or municipal officer, a copy to:
   53         a. The officer before whom he or she qualified if the
   54  officer held an elective office; or
   55         b. The officer or authority who appointed him or her if the
   56  officer held an appointive office.
   57         (g) Notwithstanding the provisions of any special act to
   58  the contrary, with regard to an elective office, the resignation
   59  creates a vacancy in office to be filled by election, thereby
   60  authorizing persons to qualify as candidates for nomination and
   61  election as if the officer’s term were otherwise scheduled to
   62  expire. With regard to an elective charter county office or
   63  elective municipal office, the vacancy created by the officer’s
   64  resignation may be filled for that portion of the officer’s
   65  unexpired term in a manner provided by the respective charter.
   66  The office is deemed vacant upon the effective date of the
   67  resignation submitted by the official in his or her letter of
   68  resignation.
   69         (8)(7)Subsections Nothing contained in subsection (3) and
   70  (4) do not apply relates to persons holding any federal office
   71  or seeking the office of President or Vice President. Subsection
   72  (4) does not apply to an elected officer if the term of the
   73  office that he or she presently holds is scheduled to expire and
   74  be filled by election in the same primary and general election
   75  period as the federal office he or she is seeking.

Johns’ campaign for District 6 continues 
in wake of resign-to-run law 
By Jake Martin
Posted at 6:06 AM
Updated at 6:06 AM
St. Augustine Record

St. Johns County Commissioner Jimmy Johns says he’s running “full steam ahead” with his campaign for U.S. Rep Ron DeSantis’ open District 6 seat in Congress, but he won’t say yet whether he’ll resign from his current post to do so.

State Sen. Travis Hutson’s resign-to-run bill, signed into law last week by Gov. Rick Scott, will require Johns and other local and state office holders in Florida to resign from their seats if they want to run for a federal office that overlaps with their current term.
If the terms of the offices overlap, the officials must submit their resignations at least 10 days before qualifying to run, with the resignations effective when the officials would take the new offices or when their successors would take office. For Johns, this would force a final decision by April 20, as the qualifying period for Congressional office is noon April 30 to noon May 4.
Hutson has said his intent was to close a “loophole” by expanding a requirement that already applies to state and local elected officials who decide to run for other state or local offices. A Senate staff analysis of the bill predicted the changes would result in fewer cases of the special-election domino effect.
Originally a Scott appointee, Johns was elected to his first full term on the county commission only in 2016.
St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections Vicky Oakes has said if Johns chooses to seek Congressional office then his subsequent resignation would automatically trigger a vacancy in office of his District 1 seat. She said any candidates who emerge would be running for the remainder of Johns’ term on the commission, so it would be a two-year stint.
She said the qualifying period for Johns’ District 1 seat would be the same time frame it is for all the regular offices up for election this year. That window is open from noon June 18 to noon June 22.
Johns told The Record on Saturday that he understands a group from South Florida is planning to file a lawsuit against the state to either abolish the resign-to-run law or postpone its effective date. Asked if he was planning to join that suit, Johns only said his campaign staff will be “monitoring” it.
“Until that’s settled, obviously, we want to make sure we’ve got alternative plans,” Johns said. “But we’re running full steam ahead right now.

Asked what’s going to happen when his April 20 deadline comes to make a decision, Johns said he’ll cross that bridge when that day comes.
He said his focus for now is on meeting with as many people as he can across the district and understanding what’s important to constituents in a representative.
Johns is one of eight candidates (five Republicans and three Democrats) vying for the seat soon to be vacated by DeSantis, who’s making a run for Florida governor.

Edward Adelbert Slavin
  • Edward Adelbert Slavin
  • Rank 0
Why the rush to keep CURRENT candidates from running for Congress without resigning-to-run? Why this matters: SB 186 may be unconstitutional. BACKGROUND: On January 31, 2018, the day that St. Johns County Commissioner JAMES KENNETH JOHNS filed to run for Congress, SB 186 passed the Florida State Senate 27-7. Passed State House 77-27, March 7, 2018. Signed into law by Governor Scott March 30, 2018. Eliminates controversial "'Charlie' Crist Loophole." My thoughts:

1. United States Supreme Court's 1995 decision, U.S. Term Limits, Inc. v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995), held states CANNOT enact term limits for Congress.

2. By 5-4 vote, our U.S. Supreme Court struck down term limits enacted by 23 states.

3. Our U.S. Constitution specifies qualifications for election to Congress. (U.S. Constitution, Article I, section 2).

4. Florida has NO power to to change, add to, or diminish those qualifications.

5. There was NO discussion of U.S. constitutional law in our Florida legislature's cabined staff analysis of SB 186.

6. NO amendment considered making the law prospective, commencing in 2020?

7. NO, Florida's reigning Republican crew made possibly unconstitutional law applicable to CURRENT candidates.

8. Wonder why? You tell me. Did the answer somehow elude Tallahassee's small press corps?

9. Among reigning Florida Republicans, is the prevailing attitude, "What's the Constitution among friends?"

10. Thank God for federal courts. Glad to hear Commissioner James K. Johns is not intimidated, and that someone is considering litigation to challenge SB 186. As Saint Augustine said, "An unjust law is no law." SB 186 is an unjust law, likely unconstitutional.

11. BTW: I think Commissioner Johns MUST disclose his Solid Rock Engineering firm client list. F.S. 112.313(7)(a).
  • 52 minutes ago (edited recently)
Richard Guzinya
  • Richard Guzinya
  • Rank 0
If you like him as a commissioner, you will love him as a Congressman, and vice-versa. To find out more, go to . Select the “2016 election cycle” and check out all of the out-of-county contributions to good old boy Jimmy.
  • 2 hours ago
Edward Adelbert Slavin
  • Edward Adelbert Slavin
  • Rank 0
@Richard Guzinya Enigmatic. He was sometimes rude at Commission meetings, then in his last meeting as Chair in November, he proposed a local lobbying registration law. Yes. Enigmatic. He and I both opposed proposed sales tax scheme in 2015, right after his appointment. As a candidate, it is only fair that Johns must disclose his client list. -- every single one of his Solid Rock Engineering Consultants, Inc. clients -- in order to assure current compliance with F.S. 112.313(7)(a),... » more

1 comment:

Warren Celli said...

This is just another example of deck stacking and back stabbing that soils the now totally scam electoral process on the candidate side and keeps so many citizens boycotting the voter side. The arrogance and disdain shown for the common person is overwhelming. It only serves to produce no mandate phonies...

Keep on pretending!