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Monthly Archives: January 2019

Conservative Leader Calls for Joe Gruters’ Resignation as Chairman of Republican Party of Florida

Gruters is the prime sponsor of a 2019 bill which will discriminate against and punish Christian businesses with lawsuits and invade the privacy of women in personal spaces

Joe Gruters resignation

(Orlando, FL) Today, John Stemberger, President of the Florida Family Policy Council called for the resignation of Joe Gruters as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida because in his role as a state senator he filed as prime sponsor SB438, which seeks to add sexual orientation and gender identity as a new legal protected classes to Florida law.

Stemberger made the following statement regarding this announcement:

“Today we appeal to conservative leaders across Florida and across the country to call for the resignation of Joe Gruters as Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida for his prime sponsorship of the “Florida Inclusive Workforce Act.”  If passed, this bill will be used as a weapon to punish Christians for simply acting out their faith as small businessmen or private individuals.  It also invades the privacy and dignity of female employees in the workplace who are forced to use showers, changing areas and bathrooms with men who claim to be women.  The bill is also clearly in opposition to the express principles of the Republican Party platform. Further, Gruters is totally out of step with the base of the GOP, state legislative leadership, Governor DeSantis’ agenda, the Republican President of the United States and even the most recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion on similar statutes.  These laws are promoted by the far left as a way of getting the state to regulate free speech and suppress religious liberty, as the bills create new lawsuits against business owners for disgruntled employees who claim they were fired for being gay or transgender.  Gruters is supporting the worst possible type of bill in the Florida legislature which infringes on core constitutional rights, free speech,  and religious liberty.  No state Republican Party chairman in the history of America has ever supported a bill this dangerous and irresponsible.  The bill represents both bad policy and bad politics and because of his refusal to pull his support from this egregious legislation, we are announcing a grassroots campaign to unseat him as state party chairman.”

TAKE ACTION NOW:
Republican voters across Florida should contact Senator Gruters and ask him to pull his support from this bill or simply resign as the State Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

· Call him at (941) 378-6309 (District Office) or (850) 487-5023 (Capitol Office)
· Email him at JoeGruters@gmail.com or gruters.joe.web@flsenate.gov
· Tweet out to him on Twitter at @JoeGruters
· Write him at 381 Interstate Boulevard, Sarasota, FL 34240 (District Office)
Or 324 Senate Building, 404 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100 (Capitol Office)

IMPACT OF THE BILL:
· The bills broad and sweeping language does not stop at merely an employers decisions regarding hiring and firing, but also includes any “terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.” The full language of this bill can be found here: http://m.flsenate.gov/session/bill/2019/438/billtext/filed/pdf

· When Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) are added to even narrow employment nondiscrimination laws, employers are prevented from maintaining separate showers, changing areas, and restrooms for their employees on the basis of sex.  As a result, female employees would be required to share showers, changing areas and restrooms with biological males who claim to be female.

· Employers should be able to maintain gender-based privacy standards at workplaces that have showers, changing areas and bathrooms.  The language of this bill infringes on the rights of employers to set those standards and invades the privacy rights of women who have to work in those environments.

· Biological sex matters in certain jobs and employers should be able to hire women (who stay as women) at domestic violence shelters, daycares, fitness centers, funeral parlors, and nursing homes.

· White paper resource from Family Research Council on the myriad of problems associated with SOGI bills of this nature can be found here: https://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF18L25.pdf

TALKING POINTS:
· Mr. Gruters probably has good intentions but as a non-lawyer does not understand the broad legal impact of the very language he proposes or the bad consequences that stem from these bills.

· Government’s purpose is to protect the freedoms established in the U.S. Constitution. The government must not abuse its power by harassing individuals because of their deeply held beliefs.

· Employers should not be burdened with additional costs, risk and liability of further government regulations as the gender fluidity scale continues to increase each year.

· The National Republican Platform states:

“We endorse the First Amendment Defense Act, Republican legislation in the House and Senate which will bar government discrimination against individuals and businesses for acting on the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman…. Ongoing attempts to compel individuals, businesses, and institutions of faith to transgress their beliefs are part of a misguided effort to undermine religion and drive it from the public square…. We pledge to defend the religious beliefs and rights of conscience of all Americans and to safeguard religious institutions against government control.”  See: https://prod-cdn-static.gop.com/media/documents/DRAFT_12_FINAL[1]-ben_1468872234.pdf

· Governor Ron DeSantis as one of his first acts as Governor signed Executive Order 1910, “Reaffirming Commitment to Diversity in Government” which protected the legitimate and immutable categories of “age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, marital status or disability.”  Governor DeSantis intentionally did not include “sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression” because he understands the problems which arise from creating a new legal protected class for these categories.

· Just because several more liberal city councils and county commissions have adopted a bad law does not mean the whole state should adopt a bad law.

· You don’t expand the base of the Republican party by proposing a bad law.  Mr. Gruters should be more concerned about keeping the base of his own party intact rather than pandering to people who don’t support him anyway.

· The fact that gay activist groups don’t support the bill because it does not go far enough for them, should give no one comfort that this bill is somehow good public policy.

· Every advancement made by gay rights activists has been through smaller “baby steps” (domestic partnerships to civil unions, to gay marriage, to now silencing people who disagree, etc…) and this bill is a step in the wrong direction to a more fully comprehensive and even more dangerous bill.

· Senator Gruters was given several courtesy calls and opportunities to withdraw the bill but was obstinate and refused.  He now needs to be held accountable for his irresponsible actions.

· Those who have a formal vote as members of the Republican Party should appeal to Chair Gruters to simply pull the bill as a bad idea and not divide the party over this bad bill.

Florida Family Action
4853 S. Orange Ave, Suite C, Orlando, FL  32806
Info@FloridaFamilyAction.org    *    Phone:  407-418-0250

 

Monthly Archives: January 2019

Register now for Pro-Family Days at the Capitol
March 18-19, 2019, Tallahassee, Florida

“Celebrating Life, Protecting Children”

Keynote Speaker: Ken Connor

REGISTER HERE

Register now Pro-Family Days

Full-Color Pro-Family Days Flyer (PDF)

Also, learn more about Patriot Academy & register your student ages 16-24 for this June 12-14 program by clicking here.

 

Florida Family Policy Council
4853 S. Orange Ave, Suite C, Orlando, FL 32806
Info@FLfamily.org * Phone: 407-251-5130

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Monthly Archives: January 2019

BREAKING NEWS:
January 22, 2019 

GOVERNOR DESANTIS MAKES FINAL HISTORIC CONSERVATIVE APPOINTMENT
TO THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT

 The appointment of Carlos Muñiz is expected
to complete the transformation of Florida’s highest court
into a judicial body with the most reliably consistent and conservative judicial philosophy in the country.

carlos muniz appointed to Florida Supreme Court (Tallahassee, FL) Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Carlos Muñiz to the Florida Supreme Court. Carlos currently serves as the General Counsel at the US Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger issued the following statement today regarding the governor’s final appointment:

“Carlos Muñiz is a man of deep faith and enduring principles.  As a person, he is very smart, no-nonsense, and humble.  As a lawyer, he is extraordinarily experienced and possesses an even-handed temperament.  His credentials and reputation as a sharp legal mind committed to a restrained and conservative judicial philosophy is unquestioned.

The appointments of Judges Barbara Lagoa, Robert Luck, and now Carlos Muñiz to the Florida Supreme Court have completely transformed the court into a judicial body with the potential to have the most reliably consistent and conservative judicial philosophy in the country.  Each of these judicial appointments to the court are highly and uniquely qualified, possess excellent judicial temperament, and are genuinely humble people committed to faith, family and serving their community.  Most importantly, each of them understands the limited role of the court, to interpret law and not make it.  The addition of these three new justices to the supreme court is a game-changer for Florida’s future.  I—along with many other conservative leaders in Florida—praise Governor DeSantis for appointing these outstanding individuals and cementing his legacy for bold leadership early on, which will have a positive affect our state for decades to come.”

Personal and Professional Bio of Carlos Muñiz: Carlos Muñiz is the General Counsel at the US Department of Education in Washington, D.C., appointed by President Donald Trump. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Muñiz speaks fluent English and Spanish and received his Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Justice Muñiz began his career as a judicial law clerk for Judge Thomas A. Flannery of the US District Court, District of Columbia, and then served as a judicial law clerk for Judge Jose A. Cabranes of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, New Haven, Connecticut. Since then, Justice Muñiz has gained experience as the deputy attorney general and chief of staff in the Office of the Attorney General, Tallahassee, FL; deputy chief of staff and counsel at the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tallahassee, FL; and as deputy general counsel for then-governor Jeb Bush. Muñiz is a textualist and believes firmly in the rule of law.

He has been a member of the Federalist Society since law school and has served his community as a civil rights analyst for the US Department of Justice and a policy director for the Republican Party of Florida. Justice Muñiz and his family, while living in Tallahassee, have been parishioners of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. He also attends mass at two other Catholic parishes, Thomas More and Saint Luis. The Muniz family are supporters of Open Door Women’s Clinic in Tallahassee, a pro-life pregnancy center and homeschool their children.

Read Carlos Muniz Supreme Court JNC Application (26 pages).

Watch Judge Luck’s Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) interview.

Read Judge Luck’s 57-page JNC Application.

Watch Judge Lagoa’s interview with the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission from 2:15 to 28:30.

Read Judge Lagoa’s 144-page application to the Judicial Nominating Commission.

For more information, contact
Media@FLfamily.org
# # #

Monthly Archives: January 2019

BREAKING NEWS:
January 14, 2019

GOVERNOR DESANTIS MAKES SECOND
OF THREE HISTORIC APPOINTMENTS
TO THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT

Judge Robert Luck from the Third District Court of Appeals
will move with his family from Miami to Tallahassee
to sit on the Florida Supreme Court.
Robert Luck, Florida Supreme Court, Governor Ron DeSantis, DeSantis

 
(Miami, FL) Today, Governor Ron DeSantis will announce the appointment of Judge Robert Luck to the Florida Supreme Court.  Judge Luck currently sits on the Third District Court of Appeals (DCA) in Miami.  The Third DCA is the appeals court between the trial court and the state supreme court in South Florida.

Judge Luck is being picked for an at-large seat and is the second of three appointments that Governor DeSantis will make to replace three of the most liberal justices who termed out for mandatory retirement at age 70 on Tuesday, January 8, 2019.  Last week DeSantis also appointed Judge Barbara Lagoa to the Florida Supreme Court.

Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger issued the following statement today regarding this appointment:

“Robert Luck is a brilliant jurist. To speak with, or listen to Judge Luck, is to realize you are in the presence of a truly unique and Scalia-like intellect.  Luck fully understands that the role of a judge is a limited one of restraint.  He has demonstrated over the years through his written decisions and public statements, that the job of a judge is to interpret law as it is written and not make law or engage in result-oriented decision making.  As an observant Jew, Luck is also grounded in ethical and moral principles that will surely guide and inform his service to the state of Florida.  Once again, Ron DeSantis has made a very solid appointment that will help to define his legacy as Governor for years to come.”

Regarding judicial philosophy Judge Robert Luck has stated the following:

“I understand how the judiciary — what Hamilton called our least dangerous branch — fits into our system of government… Having worked in each of the three branches, I understand the modest role of the judge in reviewing the laws enacted by the legislature, the actions taken by the executive, and the findings of the lower courts… I have conducted myself that way for the last five years, and I will continue to do so as long as I am permitted to serve.”

Personal and Professional Biography of Robert Luck:

Robert Luck currently sits on the Third District Court of Appeals and prior to that served on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida as a trial court judge. His district court nomination was made by Governor Rick Scott.  Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, Judge Luck would go on to graduate magna cum laude from the University of Florida Levin Law school and gain a prestigious clerkship with Chief Judge Edward Carnes of the 11th Circuit in Alabama. Judge Luck also has experience as Deputy Chief in the Major Crimes Section in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida. As a trial judge he tried seventy jury trials, as an appellate judge he has written over 70 decisions and has heard dozens of appeals from the county court and municipal agencies.  Robert Luck is part of the Miami Jewish Legal Society and currently lives in Miami-Dade County with his wife and two children.  The Luck family attends a Chabad synagogue in Miami.  Chabad is one of the largest observant and orthodox movements within Judaism worldwide.

Judge Luck’s Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) interview can be watched online here: https://thefloridachannel.org/videos/11-4-18-florida-supreme-court-judicial-nominating-commission-part-1/

Judge Luck’s 57-page JNC Application can be read here: https://www-media.floridabar.org/uploads/2018/10/Luck-Robert.pdf

For more information contact
Media@FLfamily.org
# # #

Florida Family Policy Council
4853 S. Orange Ave, Suite C, Orlando, FL 32806
Info@FLfamily.org  *  Phone:  407-251-5130
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Monthly Archives: January 2019

BREAKING NEWS:
January 9, 2019

GOVERNOR DESANTIS MAKES FIRST OF
THREE HISTORIC APPOINTMENTS TO
THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT

Judge Barbara Lagoa of Miami to become the first
Cuban-American Woman on the Florida Supreme Court.

Lagoa, Judge Lagoa, Barbara Lagoa, Florida Supreme Court

(Tallahassee, FL) Today, as his first very first act in office, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Judge Barbara Lagoa, the first of three appointments which are expected to the Florida Supreme Court.  Judge Lagoa currently sits on the Third District Court of Appeals (DCA) in Miami.  The Third DCA is an appeals court between the trial court and the state supreme court.

Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger issued the following statement today regarding this appointment:

“Governor Ron DeSantis has made a simply outstanding choice in Barbara Lagoa for the Florida Supreme Court.  She is smart, thoughtful, and has a conservative judicial philosophy that appreciates the limited role of the court.  She is also deeply committed to her faith, her family and her community.  In the world of judicial appointments, Barbara Lagoa is a home run.  Governor DeSantis should be highly commended for a very thorough vetting process and a commitment to appoint such highly principled Justices as Barbara Lagoa.”

Judge Lagoa is the first of three appointments that Governor DeSantis will make to replace three of the court’s most liberal justices who termed out for mandatory retirement at age 70* yesterday on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. The retiring justices are Barbara Pariente (Lawton Chiles Appointment in 1997); Fred Lewis (Lawton Chiles Appointment in 1998); and Peggy Quince (Initially a Lawton Chiles appointee whom Jeb Bush also agreed to appoint on his first day of office in 1998).

During his inaugural address on Tuesday, Governor DeSantis forthrightly stated, “I say to you: judicial activism ends, right here and right now. I‘ll only appoint judges who understand the proper role of the courts is to apply the law and Constitution as written, not to legislate from the bench. The Constitution, not the judiciary, is supreme.”  Today’s appointment of Barbara Lagoa is evidence of this promise given Lagoa’s judicial philosophy.

Personal and Professional Bio on Judge Barbara Lagoa:

Judge Lagoa’s parents fled Cuba and she was born in Miami, Florida.  She has served on the Third District Court of Appeals in Miami for the past twelve years since being appointed to that court by Governor Jeb Bush in 2006.  Of all 59 applicants that applied to the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, Lagoa had the most appellate experience. Over her 12 years on the appellate bench, Judge Lagoa has heard more than 11,000 cases and issued more than 470 written opinions. Judge Lagoa was also the first Cuban American woman to serve on the Third District Court of Appeals and is fluent in both Spanish and English.  She received her Juris Doctorate from Columbia University. Her civil practice focused on general and complex commercial litigation, particularly the areas of employment discrimination, business torts, securities litigation, construction litigation, and insurance coverage disputes. She also served as Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida. In this office, she worked in the Civil, Major Crimes and Appellate Sections. As an Assistant United States Attorney, she tried numerous criminal jury trials, including drug conspiracies and Hobbs Act violations.

Judge Lagoa has been a member of the Federalist Society for several years.  She has also been actively involved with Kristi House, an organization that provides treatment, advocacy, and coordination of services for all child victims of abuse and their families, as well as education and prevention services to end child abuse and sex trafficking. She is married to attorney Paul C. Huck, Jr. and is the mother of three children.  The Lagoa family are faithful Catholics and attend the Church of the Epiphany in Miami.

Judge Lagoa’s 144-page application to the Judicial Nominating Commission can be found here:

https://www-media.floridabar.org/uploads/2018/10/Lagoa-Barbara-1.pdf

Judge Lagoa’s interview with the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission can be watched on video from 2:15 to 28:30 here:https://thefloridachannel.org/videos/11-4-18-florida-supreme-court-judicial-nominating-commission-part-1/

* NOTE: Florida voters passed Amendment 6 on November 6, 2018, which increased the mandatory retirement age of Florida judges from 70 to 75.  FFPC President John Stemberger, as a member of the 2018 Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), co-sponsored the proposal which became Amendment 6.  This proposal/amendment ensured that the effective date of Amendment 6 took place on July 1, 2019, preventing it from affecting the judicial transitions in January 2019.

For more information contact:
Media@FLfamily.org
# # #

Florida Family Policy Council

4853 S. Orange Ave, Suite C, Orlando, FL 32806

Info@FLfamily.org  *  Phone:  407-251-5130