Florida Gov. Rick Scott may have to resign early if he goes ahead with an anticipated run for the U.S. Senate. But thanks to a little-noticed change approved this month by state legislators, Scott may be able to wait until after the November elections to make up his mind.
The U.S. Constitution requires Congress to convene on Jan. 3 unless a different day is chosen. Scott's term as governor does not end until the following week.
Scott said this weekend he will decide his political future in the next few weeks.
If Scott does have to resign early, it could have ramifications on the makeup of the Florida Supreme Court.
Age limits are forcing three justices to retire on the day Scott's successor takes office. Scott has said he planned to name their replacements on the same morning. Florida lawmakers recently granted pay raises for the Florida Supreme Court Justices ahead of the decision.
According to a poll this month by the Tallahassee-based firm Clearview Research, Scott is at 43.3 percent support while incumbent Demcratic Senator Bill Nelson is at 41.3 percent. The difference is within the poll's margin of error.