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Brian Battaglia Files for Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Court Judge in Group 16

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BrianBattaglia

Atty. Brian P. Battaglia, candidate for Circuit Court Judge.

Atty. Brian P. Battaglia has filed with the Florida Secretary of State, Division of Elections, to run for Circuit Judge in the 2014 elections. Battaglia is seeking the Group 16 seat in Florida’s Sixth Judicial Circuit.  That seat is currently occupied by Judge Walter Logan, who is expected to retire when his current term expires at the end of 2014. If elected, Battaglia will take office in January 2015.  The Sixth Circuit comprises Pasco and Pinellas counties.  Battaglia filed his initial paperwork on June 28, 2013.  There currently is no other candidate in this race.

Battaglia has practiced law in the Sixth Circuit for over 25 years.  He has a Avvo rating of 10, which equates to “superb,” and has a Martindale-Hubbell peer rating of 4.9 out of a possible 5.0, which equates to “preeminent.”   His practice has included representing clients in criminal and civil matters in state and federal court, through all levels of litigation up to and through the trial and appellate stages.  He also has considerable experience in mediation and alternative dispute resolution.  He is married and has two children.

The primary election will be held on August 26, 2014, and will be preceded by absentee and early voting.  The general election will be held on November 4, 2014.  The absentee “send” deadline for the primary will be July 12 and for the general election will be September 20.  Early voting for the primary will be August 16-23, and for the general election will be October 25-November 1.

Further information about Brian Battaglia can be found on his law firm website and his LinkedIn Profile.  As of June 30, 2013 his campaign had not yet posted a public campaign website or social media campaign sites.

UPDATE (July 21, 2013):  The Battaglia campaign has added a campaign website.

Is It Time to Get Rid of the Constitution?

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By Spartacus Thrace

the-constitutionAs 2013 dawns across America, the Progressive Movement appears to be at the zenith of their power within the federal government and throughout major sectors of American society and culture.  Buttressed by decades-long control or domination of the academy, the theater, the press, labor, and the Democratic Party, the Progressives have fundamentally changed the state of the nation by creating a secular utopian statist path as an alternative to the religious individualistic minimalist government path set down by the Founders two centuries ago and expressed in the obligations of the government to the governed they enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The Declaration has long been treated by many in power as an irrelevant historical relic.  The radical notion that the Constitution is a “living document” has gained wide adherence across several parts of the societal spectrum, even among those who hold themselves out as experts on matters of constitutional law.  America is now governed by a semi-permanent ruling class, engaged in rampant self-entitlement, seeing itself as separate and apart from — and superior to — the governed.  The notions of the American melting pot of disparate peoples and American exceptionalism have been lost to Balkanization of the population along the classic imaginary socialist fault lines of race, ethnicity, gender, and class.  The fundamental concept of minimalism — where the power of government is a revocable grant from the governed and the government has only that power and authority necessary to perform the essential duties entrusted to it by the governed — has long been smothered by massive growth in the size, power, and reach of the federal government and the concomitant decrease in individual liberty. Read the rest of this entry »

Should Florida Supreme Court Justices Pariente, Quince, and Lewis Get the Boot?

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Judicial Retention Sample Ballot

By Spartacus Thrace

An issue facing Florida’s voters in the November 2012 election is:  Should Barbara J. Pariente, Peggy A. Quince, and R. Fred Lewis each be allowed to keep their jobs as justices on the Florida Supreme Court?

Each is up for a merit retention vote this year, and each has generated considerable controversy with decisions that opponents describe as anti-democratic judicial activism in denigration of constitutional rule of law in Florida.  In particular, each has been accused of overstepping their authority in making law, as opposed to interpreting existing law, with far-reaching consequences for the people of the state.

Separation of Powers

As with all other states, Florida has organized its government upon the democratic premise that when a single person or group has too much power, that person or group can become dangerous to the citizens.  To prevent such concentration of power, Florida has embraced the trias politica principle espoused by John Locke and Baron de Montesquieu, which separates the government into distinct executive, legislative, and judicial divisions.  The Florida constitution also gives each branch certain defined powers not shared with the other branches, a concept knows as “separation of powers.”

Florida’s scheme of separation of powers is set forth in Article II of the state constitution which provides:

The powers of the state government shall be divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches. No person belonging to one branch shall exercise any powers appertaining to either of the other branches unless expressly provided herein.1 Read the rest of this entry »

SB 428: Fired Judges Employment and Popular Vote Nullification Act of 2011 Filed in Florida Senate

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Neutralizing the pink slip of democracy.

By Le Corbeaunoir

UPDATE: SB 428 and its House counterpart, HB 1033, died in their respective Judiciary Committees on May 7, 2011.

The 2010 elections were a wakeup call for members of the Florida political elite who both enjoy being in the ruling class and hate the uncertainties of democracy. Some are beginning to devise ways to push back against the popular will when it comes to deciding who is or is not suited to remain on the bench.

Let’s put this in perspective: Imagine that the you and the majority of the voters in a democratic election choose to fire and replace a sitting state trial court judge, appellate court judge, or a supreme court justice as being unfit to serve on the bench any longer.  Then imagine that a short time later you and everyone else who voted the same way you did learn that the person you and the majority rejected as not fit to serve on the bench is in fact back on the bench judging cases. Incredibly, this is exactly what could happen if Senate Bill (SB) 428 becomes law. Read the rest of this entry »

The Coming 2012 Judicial Races In Pinellas County

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(Photo Credit: The Florida Bar)

By Angry Wasp

While I was at the local K-Mart the other day, I ran into one of my cop friends. He was talking to me about having to go to court two weeks ago to testify in front of some judge about a drunk driver. As he was telling me what happened in court and what he thought of the judge, I realized that I didn’t know much about who the local judges are, how much they are paid, or when they are on the ballot. After talking to several of my friends about this, I got the impression that a lot of people are in the same boat when it comes to knowing anything about our judges. Geez, I thought, this isn’t good with all the crap going on in government today.

So I sat down at the computer to find out what I could. The first thing I found out is that the judiciary is kind of like a secret arm of the government when it comes to finding out about individual judges. There is next to squat out there when it comes to detailed information.

I was able, however, to get a lot of salary information, and I found an interesting national survey of judicial salaries here. I also found the following salary information in the Governor’s FY 2010-2011 Recommended General Appropriations Act, in Section 8, on page 340: Read the rest of this entry »

Tom Ramsberger Is Still Running for Judge

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By Spartacus Thrace

It appears that another candidate for the 2012 judicial elections has emerged, almost two years before voting is to begin.

Tom Ramsberger lost the 2010 Sixth Judicial Circuit Court Group 20 race to to Patrice Moore by a vote of 86,704 (51.03%) to 83,200 (48.96%), despite outspending her $59,821.49 to $21,798.20 and having higher name recognition as a result of a brother, Peter Ramsberger, being a serving circuit court judge in Pinellas and Pasco counties.  Moore, however, had the endorsement of the St. Petersburg Times and was a more impressive speaker than Ramsberger while out on the stump.

It appears that Ramsberger has not given up and has not shut down his campaign.  His content-copyrighted campaign website has now been modified to indicate that he will be running for the seat of an as-yet-unidentified judge who will be retiring in 2012, and to caution visitors not to make contributions until he sets up a campaign finance account later in 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

Legacy Candidate Scott Andringa Running to Succeed Father as County Court Judge

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Atty. R. Scott Andringa

By Spartacus Thrace

R. Scott Andringa is already running for county court judge, even though the 2012 election is almost two years away.  He is running for the seat currently occupied by his father.

Among the elected officials in Pinellas County up for election in 2012 is Judge of the County Court, Group 2, a seat currently occupied by Henry J. “Hank” Andringa, who is expected to retire in 2012.  Until now, there has been considerable speculation as to who might run for this seat when it becomes vacant.  That speculation ended December 13, 2010 when, with little fanfare, Andringa’s son, Attorney R. Scott Andringa, announced that he has entered the race to succeed his father when the next election is held, on November 6, 2012.

Robert Scott Andringa is a 1986 graduate of St. Petersburg High School, a 1990 graduate of Florida State University, and a 1992 graduate of Stetson Law School.  He was admitted to the practice of law in Florida in 1993.  He has worked as a prosecutor from 1993 to 2004 for the 6th Judicial Circuit in New Port Richey and from 2004 to 2006 in the 16th Judicial Circuit in Plantation Key.  He is a solo practitioner doing business in Largo, Florida as R. Scott Andringa, Esquire, LLC, and Suncoast Arbitration & Mediation, Inc., handling administrative, civil, and criminal cases.  He has been admitted to practice by The Florida Bar, the U.S. Middle District of Florida, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  He also is a Florida Supreme Court-certified mediator in Circuit Civil, County, Family and Foreclosure cases. Read the rest of this entry »

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