Florida Bar Presidents Slam Smear Campaign

23 former Florida Bar presidents recently signed a joint resolution supporting the retention of Supreme Court Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince, and Fred Lewis. The former Bar presidents believe, like many other pundits, that the effort being made by Restore Justice 2012 to kick out the justices is fundamentally wrong. The joint resolution points out that this witch hunt politicizes justices, precisely what the state of Florida was trying to avoid when merit retention was created. The resolution also shows concern on behalf of the Florida Bar presidents that the public will vote not to retain the current Supreme Court justices without being properly informed.

The resolution discusses in detail the reason for merit retention and the reason this Supreme Court should stay intact. “We are concerned that the public has forgotten or is unaware of how the use of Judicial Nominating Commissions along with Merit Retention and Selection of appellate judges and non­ partisan elections has helped to give Florida one of the best judicial systems in the nation,” the resolution reads. Merit retention was not created to measure justice performance, it was created to prevent justice corruption. Restore Justice 2012 has disputed this and are campaigning purely against justice performance.

Part of the marketing plan of Restore Justice 2012 was the creation of a scorecard. The score card lists six groups: Homeowners’ Rights, Patients’ Rights, Education, Right To Vote, Criminal Justice, and Junk Lawsuits. The scorecard shows all three justices failing in every category. However the scorecard does not tell the whole story: that the justices’ jobs are to protect the constitution. Restore Justice 2012 gives the justices failing grades not because they violated the Florida State or United States Constitutions, but because they refused to conform to a right wing ideology. The push to throw out the justices is being made so that Governor Rick Scott can appoint three new right wing justices who will govern based on what the far right and special interests want.

The choice come November is a stark one for Floridians. Keep the justice system fair and honest, or allow new justices to be appointed who will disregard the constitution in favor of their own political interests. Should Justices Pariente, Quince, and Lewis be removed from office, a dangerous precedent will be set. The corruption in the Florida judicial system which has been dormant for the last 30+ years will be awoken as justices will have to pander to the whims of politicians in order to keep their jobs. In order to protect their rights, constitution, and justice system, Floridians need to stand up to the corporate money backing this smear campaign and retain their Supreme Court justices.

One Response to “Florida Bar Presidents Slam Smear Campaign”

  1. You could not have painted a more complete and thorough picture. Voting yes to retain these Florida Supreme Court Justices will assure that politics stays out of the courts and insures justice in the judicial branch. Otherwise, Rick Scott will appoint justices who are likely to care a great deal more about political agendas and a great deal less about guarding citizen justice. So, corporatists take over with a no vote and citizens win with a yes vote.

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