Florida Governor Rick Scott loses his first court battle

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Governor Rick Scott defeated the bullet train, turning down 2.4 billion federal dollars for high speed rail, then winning a suit challenging his authority to reject the cash.

But Scott's perfect record in the courts was derailed Tuesday, when the Florida Supreme Court ruled that he exceeded his authority by ordering state agencies to freeze rulemaking and submit planned regulations to his office for review and approval before formally proposing them.

"It doesn't make any sense to me. I don't think it follows the constitution. It's a disappointment," Scott said.

Scott's court record stands at one win, one loss.

But his challengers are lining up to keep his losing streak alive. Five lawsuits are still pending. Some are awaiting decisions. Others have yet to be heard in court.

In October, in a Leon County courtroom, the Florida Education Association will argue against a law Scott signed forcing state workers to contribute to their pension plans.

"I think we are seeing a lot of litigations that is the result of some fairly outrageous legislation and overreaching by the solid Republican majorities," said FEA attorney Ron Meyer.

The Florida Police Benevolent Association is joining FEA in that suit, but in another lawsuit they're challenging Scott's plans to privatize 18 state prisons.

"As we get into it more and engage in discovery, we are more and more confident that we will be successful in the privatization suit," said PBA General Counsel Hal Johnson.

A decision in federal court is pending in a suit the ACLU brought after Scott issued an executive order requiring drug testing for state workers. After the ACLU filed suit Scott suspended the testing.

Another lawsuit challenging a law prohibiting pediatricians from asking their patients if guns are in their house was argued in federal court last month. A challenge to provisions in Florida's new election law is awaiting a hearing. Scott has asked that his name be removed for that lawsuit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report
 

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