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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Supreme Court gives Gov. Scott more time to respond to lawsuit



At the request of an attorney for Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida Supreme Court has granted the governor an extra week to respond to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of his rule freeze.  The court had ordered Scott to respond to the petition by April 25.

But on April 20, Scott attorney Charles Trippe asked for an extension.  "Due to the contingencies of the legislative session, other responsibilities of the Office of the Governor, and the press of other matters, undersigned counsel respectfully requests a seven-day extension of time, through and including May 2," Trippe's motion reads. 

The court agreed to the extension, but a line in the one-page order reads in all caps: "No further extensions of time will be granted to respondent for serving the response." 

Rosalie Whiley, a blind woman from Opa Locka seeking to reapply for food stamps, filed the suit against the governor last month alleging he overstepped his authority with the rulemaking freeze. Her attorneys argue one of the stalled rules will make it easier for her to apply for food stamps online every six. She wants the executive order revoked.  The Audubon Society and Disabilitie Right Florida have filed briefs in support of Whiley. 

The freeze was one of Scott's first acts as governor, included in an executive order signed less than an hour after his Jan. 4 inauguration.
More than 900 rules on their way to approval were affected. Many have received an okay through the governor's newly created Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform, but many more are still on hold.

[Last modified: Monday, April 25, 2011 8:13am]


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