The Reply brief, responding to the briefing of the Attorney General for the State of Florida in her Response, was filed on July 29, 2013.  Click on the image below to read the brief (or download the pdf):

From the Reply Brief (pp. 43-44) , this Conclusion:

There is an inexplicable disconnect between what the Timely Justice Act is intended to do, the terms of the Act, and what the State contends the Act will actually do. The Legislature’s purpose has been clearly expressed over and over: the judicial system is failing to properly administer capital postconviction litigation so the Legislature must step in to fix the system. Equally clear and repeatedly expressed is the State’s view of what the Act will actually do: nothing. And that disconnect is not important merely because it demonstrates the irrationality and disingenuousness surrounding the unthinking manner in which the Act was passed and justified, it also demonstrates that the State’s arguments are unrelated to the Act’s constitutionality.

Nowhere does the law say that Separation of Powers violations are allowable as long as there is no great harm done, such that the State’s primary defense of the Act—that it will do nothing—is utterly irrelevant to the primary claims of the Petition. Article II § 3 of the Florida Constitution states that “[n]o person belonging to one branch [of government] shall exercise any powers appertaining to either of the other branches . . . .” The State is unable to point to any authority which interprets that provision tn to apply only where a harm is demonstrated. Thus, even though Petitioners describe numerous, practical and realistic harms that will result from the Act, the State’s primary defense of the Act is no defense at all. 

The Act is about rulemaking, expressed as rulemaking, described by its  drafters as rulemaking, but rhetorically defended by the State as being about substantive policy. Petitioners urge that this Court should not permit its capital postconviction system to be, to any extent, supplanted by such measures.


Today is August 12: nothing else has happened on the docket since July 30th – two weeks of silence. 

We’ll keep you posted.