I'm pretty sure that's what the interwebs need more of -- opinions.
Even so, this is a rare burst of clear-eyed advocacy from a Miami Herald editorial page often devoid of opinions worth discussing:
The commission should make smooth functioning of the court system a priority when it examines in detail the budget approved by the Legislature and sees what funds are available after the governor’s budget vetoes.Ok, I guess it's still kinda milquetoast but remember, we are talking about the Herald editorial page.
This, though, would be just a temporary patch. The bigger job is to put funding for the court clerks on a rational basis, one that complies with public expectation of good customer service at each court clerk’s office, litigants’ need for efficient handling of cases, and the constitution’s requirement of adequate financing.
In other news, can you believe an undocumented immigrant actually wants to practice law in Florida?
Can an immigrant without a green card get a Florida Bar card?
Aspiring lawyer Jose Godinez-Samperio, 25, a Tampa-area resident, is hoping the answer is yes.Certified Legal Legend Sandy D'Alemberte says yes:
A native of Mexico who entered the United States legally with his parents 16 years ago on a tourist visa, Godinez-Samperio is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Law, the valedictorian of the Armwood High School class of 2004, an Eagle Scout — and an undocumented immigrant.
That last quality may keep him from achieving his dream.
The Florida Board of Bar Examiners, which grants membership to the Bar, has asked the state Supreme Court to determine whether it can accept someone who is not in the country legally. The Supreme Court flagged the case as "high profile" last week.
"It is unfair to deny him the credentials he's earned," said D'Alemberte, noting that there's nothing in the "Rules of the Supreme Court Relating to Admissions to the Florida Bar" that requires applicants to prove their immigration status.Sandy is joined by former ABA Presidents Martha Barnett and Steve Zack.
In fact, D'Alemberte said, Godinez-Samperio has been candid about his status at every opportunity, disclosing it on college and law school applications (his application to law school included an essay titled "The Consequences of my Criminal Childhood," although being in the country illegally is a civil infraction, not a crime).
Other the other hand, there are these guys:
"No one who has shown this guy's level of contempt for American law should be practicing law," said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration, a political action committee that opposes amnesty for undocumented immigrants.
Tom Fitton, president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, agreed.
"He can't practice as a lawyer," Fitton said. "He is not legally able to work in the United States. … It seems to me that it would be an absurdity to give him a Bar card at this point."Hmm, if "contempt for American law" was the standard I could think of quite a few lawyers and maybe a Supreme Court Justice or two that might fall afoul of that one.
But maybe I'm wrong.
As the old saying goes -- which side are you on?