Florida Launches Plan for Better Public Understanding of Courts

At a time judges in Florida are facing a proposal in the legislature for judicial term limits, it’s “fortuitous” timing that the state’s highest court has approved a five-year plan for enhancing public understanding of how the courts work, a columnist writes.

In The Tallahassee Democrat, Bill Cotterell says the plan is titled “Delivering the Message,” and it incorporates “suggestions from judges, reporters and editors, court public information officers and other staff across the state.”

Cotterell says the goal of “enhancing public trust and confidence” in the courts can be challenging when this particular branch of government, in order to do its job, sometimes must dissatisfy the customer. “Governors and legislators can do things they know are unconstitutional, but politically popular. Judges often have to do just the opposite, upholding the rule of law when we’d really like to just whack somebody,” he explains.

The plan also addresses better relations with the legislature and state agencies, and endeavors to “ensure the accuracy and adequacy of their understanding and perception of the judicial branch.” Cotterrell makes his “fortuitious” timing remark in this context, noting the judicial term limits proposal from legislators apparently unhappy with court rulings. You can learn more about the proposal from Gavel Grab.