Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Milton Hirsch ruled against Florida’s newly expanded stand your ground provision, declaring that authority to expand the law lies with “courts” rather than legislators.
Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed the legislation to expand stand your ground on June 9, 2017. Breitbart News reported that the expansions put the onus on the state by forcing prosecutors to disprove a stand your ground claim in a pretrial hearing. In other words, the expansions were designed to guarantee that Floridians who used lethal force under duress were presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Reuters reports that Judge Hirsch ruled the expanded stand your ground law unconstitutional on Monday. He said that an expansion of the law falls under the purview of the courts rather than legislators. Fox News quoted Hirsch, saying, “As a matter of constitutional separation of powers, that procedure cannot be legislatively modified.”
Richard Corcoran (R-37), the Speaker of Florida’s House of Representatives, responded to the ruling by making clear his conviction that legislatures, rather than courts, make laws. Corcoran said, “It is the role of the legislature to write the laws that govern how Floridians may exercise their statutory and constitutional rights. The Florida House will continue to stand with ordinary citizens who exercise their right to self-defense.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.