McCollum Is A Scary Threat To An Independent Judiciary


If the Broward courthouse crowd really cares about the future of justice in Florida,  they should be working to stop Bill McCollum from becoming governor.

The newbies in the Broward Bar might not remember Bill McCollum’s record in Congress.  I do.

Working on one campaign for judge in Broward is fine.  Its admirable. 

But that is only one judge.

If McCollum becomes governor, probable Republican nominee will have the power to appoint hundreds of county, circuit and appeals judges.

Based on his past statements and votes, watch out!

Defense lawyers should sign up now to raise money and donate time to the Alex Sink’s Democratic campaign.

Lots of time.  Lots of money.

Because former prosecutor McCollum spent 1981-2001 in Congress chipping away at the constitutional rights of defendants.

Right after arriving in Washington, he backed a move to eliminate the insanity defense in criminal cases. 

The insane would be convicted of crimes, although they had no idea what they were doing.

“We owe it to society to find them guilty, then treat them differently (after conviction), McCollum said.

In 1988, McCollum wanted to use federal highway money as a club to force states to automatically suspend the drivers’  license of anyone convicted of drug possession.

A year later, McCollum voted to prevent the District of Columbia from spending any money on abortion for any reason.

In 1991, there were widespread complaints from federal judges that minimum mandatory sentences were tying their hands.  The judges said that they were being forced to sentence first offenders to lengthy time in prison for no good reason.

McCollum’s answer:  “Manditory minimums are working reasonably well.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate wasn’t through.

He sponsored a bill which would prevent any consideration of statistical evidence to argue bias against the death penalty.  He called statistical evidence of bias a liberal plot to end executions.

He applauded the changes Gov. Jeb Bush made a decade ago to politicize the judicial appointment process.  Bush took away much of the power of the Florida Bar to recommend appointees and handed it to the governor.

McCollum also proposed that evidence gathered in “good faith by police would not violate constitutional guarantees. He vocally supported and actively backed  a bill which would give police the right to invade a home or car without a warrant if they believed they were doing the right thing.

The Miami Herald denounced the bill, saying its “broad and mushy terms (would) become the standard by which your home or auto may be ransacked.

McCollum had another view of the Constitution.  He answered the Herald and other critics this way: “The public is tired of (criminals) getting off on technicalities.

And as governor, this guy would be appointing judges!

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

12 Responses to “McCollum Is A Scary Threat To An Independent Judiciary”

  1. Republicans Can't Help Us Now says:

    Republicans have no answers for us right now. The problems Florida and the nation share can’t be solved with any plank in the Republican platform. This is not a time for more Republican leadership, this is a time for Democrats to come in and do their thing. And when they go overboard, then the Republicans can come back. But not now.

  2. Democrat says:

    The Florida Republican Party keeps presentintg us with these retrends. McCollum has been around for 30 years. The world has changed and he hasn’t. The Democrats have the winning ticket next year.

  3. TheBrowardRepublican says:

    The Republican Party needed a wake-up call, and it got one in November. The problem, as I see it, is that this wake-up call did not extend to the current Republican leadership. I get the impression that they think that because they are already in office, that they don’t need to change (I think the same about most Democratic politicians, as well).

    However, I disagree with the two previous posters who said that the Republicans don’t have anything to offer. The message of the Republican Party is solid (less taxes, smaller government, , and more personal freedom with responsibility), even if certain party members choose to ignore them. Concentrate on the people and the small businesses and quit taxing them to death just to keep the government the same.

    So it is not really the Republican Party that people are truly upset with as much as it is a few rogue politicians calling themselves Republican. Otherwise, why did so many Democrats flock to the Republican banner under Ronald Reagan?

    But what if there were a Republican candidate who was not, as Democrat put it so eloquently, “retrends?” Do you vote a straight ticket just because someone claims they are a Democrat, or do you want the best person for the job?

    There are other Republican candidates out there you might actually like. I know I touched on Republican State Senator Paula Dockery in a previous response and editorial (

    This does not take anything away from Alex Sink, who appears to be a remarkable woman. But I truly hope that you aren’t writing off everybody who wears the elephant on their lapel. If that’s the case, then simply send your ballot in to cover the next twenty years so you don’t ever have to vote again.

  4. Broward Rep Makes My Point says:

    Broward Republican tries to make a distiction but instead makes my point. This is absolutely NOT the time for less taxes or smaller government. One does that in a boom not in a decline. And as to “personal freedoms” sorry but Republicans don’t really have much to show on that concept.

    Every single reputable economist agrees that government must re-start the engine of this economy with smart spending. This is not a time to reduce taxes because with reduced taxes, you get reduced spending and thus reduced stimulus. Taxes should be reduced when the economy is strong AND you have a sufficient surplus. Republicans never get that right.

    The truth is if everybody was to reduce their spending right now, as most would want to do given the circumstantes, then the economy could not come back. The economy needs spending — dollars in circulation to reinvigorate itself and only government can do that quickly.

    So I hold to my previous position. Republicans simply have nothing to offer us of any value in this economy, and even those that seem to be calling for change are out of touch with what needs to happen. This is a time for Democrats. The Republicans got us into this mess and have no idea how to get us out, they would only dig us deeper into recession if given the chance.

  5. The Old Ghost says:

    Broward Republican is just like McCollum. The same slogans of 30 years ago. He even mentions Reagan, who was elected in 1980. In the past 30 years, mostly Republican politicians have pushed their less government and less taxes philosophy and the results is less employment, less people on health care, more poverty, a recession and all the jobs fleeing to China. Government actually grew under their heroes — Jeb Bush and George W. Bush. Somedays Republicans will realize you can’t turn back the clock. The world has moved on.

  6. TheBrowardRepublican says:

    It’s a difference of opinion then. I can cite as many reputable economists who believe less taxes in a down-turned economy is best because people and the small businesses then have more money to spend and the government doesn’t go into hock. The truth of the matter is that you really need both. Tax cuts work quicker then spending, but spending gives you more bang for the buck (yes, I studied economics, so you won’t be able to push me over with unsubstantiated blanket statements).

    However, I am not stating that more or less taxes at this point will save us. Case in point, it was Bush lowering the taxes on the weathy that started the deficit, and then his out-of-control spending that put us there (so no, Bush is not the hero you make him out to be).

    On the other hand, rather than letting the economy take the hit on the nose so we could get over all of this that much quicker, Obama chose to make Bush look like a tightwad and gave our money away to companies like AIG and GM (how is that government spending working out for you?).

    So when you say things like “Republicans simply have nothing to offer us of any value in this economy” shows that you are part of the problem if you aren’t even willing to give a person the chance to help simply because he is not a Democrat.

    And when the Old Ghost says that “Republican politicians have pushed their less government and less taxes philosophy and the results is less employment, less people on health care, more poverty, a recession and all the jobs fleeing to China,” he apparently wants to ignore that most of this mess started under a Democratic controlled legislature (you know, the ones who come up with the budget?).

    THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO POINT FINGERS! If anything, both sides need to chuck the partisan cr*p and simply say, “let’s come together and figure out what the best thing we can do to help everyone out in this economy.”

    I simply wish that I could get it through your heads that just because you can find fault with previous Republican politicians does not mean that all Republicans are the same. Lamberti? Crist? Both of these Republicans have strong Democrat backers. Why is that? According to both of you ALL Republicans are bad.

    If you don’t like McCollum, then fine. At least learn about the other Republican candidates. If, in the end, you still vote for Sink, or Arth, or anyone else, then at least you know you made an informed decision instead of simply covering your eyes and pulling the blue lever. I don’t want you to vote for a Republican or a Democrat. I want you to vote for the best person for the job.

    I plan to do the same.

  7. It's Not Opnion, GOP! says:

    Look, you seem like a nice guy. So please don’t take this the wrong way.

    The “reputable economists” you talk about are not very good at giving economic advice. Your party has been listening to that crowd too long. News flash — trickle down economics does NOT work, it has never worked, and only results in the rich keeping more of their money at the expense of the poor who create that wealth through their work.

    When you guys were in charge, we Democrats told you this would happen, we pleaded with you to “chuck the partisan crap” and do what’s best for the country. You just laughed and chucked us. Nobody forgets those days so quickly.

    The game doesn’t work that way. We’re in charge now. Go fix your bankrupt party, get a grip on reality, stop idolizing Ronald Reagan who was a dope, and go listen to Eisenhower on tape. Nixon also. Those men knew what being a Republican was supposed to mean. Try emulating those values. That should keep you plenty busy while we go fix the nation. And in a decade or so, when we screw up (and we will) then it will be your turn again.

    Only this — the next you guys take over and we leave you with a surplus, please try to make it last longer than a year. OK?

  8. TheBrowardRepublican says:

    I agree with “almost” everything you said. However, I never said I idolized Reagan, just that the Democrats did. ;o)

    And I agree that the “trickle-down economics” did not work as the Republican Party implemented it. There was waaaaaay too much lead way given to the big businesses and the people who already had tons of money instead of to the small business owners and mom & pop shops who needed the help to compete against the industry giants.

    I seriously believe there is a compromise in there somewhere that we would both agree on. You seem “almost” as well informed and intelligent as me. ;o)

    BTW, thanks for the “nice guy” comment. :o)

  9. TheBrowardRepublican says:

    Oh, and I would dispute the “surplus” comment if it wasn’t true. :o(

  10. Yea Well, Anyway says:

    The Budster’s point was that McCullom would be disasterous for Florida because of his Supreme Court and other judicial picks. I happen to agree with that. And let me proove it to you.

    Either you agree that humans are infallible or you are an idiot. With me so far?

    So that means that if we take 100 laws at random, at least some will be written in ways that are not actually very smart. With me still?

    On top of often being stupid, some legislators have the added extra benefit of being arrogant about it. Still there?

    And so unless we the people are going to live under the constant strain of many bad laws, judges are in part there to find good reasons to reject those laws.

    Now here’s the real point. Republicans don’t believe that’s good policy. They believe that the law is the law is the law and that judges should not interpret it but simply apply it like peanut butter to bread. But that’s not what being a judge is about. To sit in judgment involves making determinations about whether the laws themselves are appropriate.

    Too many instances of positive social evolution in our society has been made by judges, this is true. But that’s because Congressman Bubba couldn’t get re-elected in his district if he did what was right in the first place. You cannot count on legislative bodies to do the right thing all the time. Not so with judges, they are expected to do the right thing all the time. So in a democratic society, one must have the checks and balances of an active judiciary.

    Strict constructionists have it all wrong. The law must be alive otherwise it cannot evolve, and not everything etched in the law books deserves to be etched in stone.

    Still, we used to have better Republicans years ago that appointed justices like Blackmun, Stevens, Souter, O’Connor. I’d put guys like Rehnquist and a host of others in middle ground. Those were truly independent thinkers not like Thomas, Alito, Roberts or Kennedy. Of course, we then have the liberal judges, there is no shortage there also so I won’t name those. But even with them you take less risks, because any incorrect decision they make Congress can fix. Not so if they uphold evil statutes.

    And thank goodness that psycho Bork never got appointed. What an asshole he was.

    Same applies in State Supreme Courts. This is why Buddy is right. McCollum is too far right for our own good, his tendency to choose judges that think like him would be disasterous to this state and our people. We must reject him.

  11. Been Around says:

    I’d be more concerned if the downtown lawyers were in charge, and that comes from someone’s who’s been a lawyer here for 40 years.

  12. Abbie says:

    What Can we common Poeple do about the Bailout? Nothing.. we just have to wait and see if the company comes up and develops new cars and prototypes to please the americal consumer