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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Scott's new rulemaking order slams high court



Gov. Rick Scott issued a new executive order Wednesday in response to the Florida Supreme Court ruling that he overstepped his authority when he issued a previous order suspending new rulemaking by executive branch agencies (earlier story here). 

The state's highest court, in a 5-2 decision, ruled in the case of Whiley v. Scott on Aug. 16 that the governor "encroach[ed] upon the Legislature's delegation of its rulemaking power as set forth in the Florida Statutes."

Departing from the dry, stuffy legalese that usually comprises executive orders, Scott (and his legal team) used the document to criticize the court for its decision. "WHEREAS," the order states, the majority opinion "failed to address and apply the plain meaning of the first and sixth sections of Article IV of the [state] Constitution ... failed to address the implications of the Court's precedent in Jones v. Chiles [a different case and] ... failed to address the persuasive case law from the United States Supreme Court and the highest court of other states," among other criticisms.

The order notes that only the two dissenting justices got it right, and adds grudgingly: "Notwithstanding the above, the majority opinion in Whiley v. Scott is to be afforded the deference due a judgment of the Supreme Court of the state of Florida." 

The new executive order, No. 11-211, narrows the power of Scott's Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform (OFARR) "to the extent permitted by law" and requires all agency heads to submit any proposed rule or amendment to OFARR at least one week before submitting it for official publication. 

Read the executive order below.   

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 6:31pm]


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