You already know Jeff Brandes, the disruptive tech policy iconoclast, and Jeff Brandes, the big cheese in Florida criminal justice reform.
If you’re lucky, as I am, you may also know Jeff Brandes, the good guy and a friend.
But allow me to introduce another angle of this Pinellas powerhouse — the Jeff Brandes who can thread the needle of a policy issue so complex that it has gone without solving for decades: grandparent visitation rights.
I think most would agree that parents should be able to parent their children without interference and that nobody, not even “the in-laws,” should get a lick of a say in a child’s rearing. Grandparents shouldn’t even have the right to call a grandkid to say “happy birthday” if the parent doesn’t want it to happen.
But that’s not what Brandes cares about.
He has a much bigger dog in the fight: how courts approach parent (and grandparent) rights in extraordinary, tragic, and criminal situations — many of which take years to resolve, with children caught in the crosshairs.
Brandes was inspired to tackle this issue by the Dan Markel murder.
There’s plenty written about the case, which has