Tuesday, November 6, 2012

3 Florida Supreme Court Justices win retention bids

Posted By on Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 9:45 PM

Keeping their jobs: Florida Supreme Court justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince & R. Fred Lewis
  • Keeping their jobs: Florida Supreme Court justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince & R. Fred Lewis
The three Florida Supreme Court Justices up for merit retention on this year's ballot — R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince — are going to keep their jobs, despite the unprecedented push by the Republican Party of Florida to oust them.

As of 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, all three justices each lead about 67 percent to 33 percent.

Officials with the group Defend Justice from Politics are hailing the victory.

"The need for a fair and impartial judiciary far outweighs individual disagreements with any specific opinion. Voters understood the question that was put to them and came down on the side of fair and impartial courts." —Sandy Talbot D'Alemberte, FSU professor and former American Bar Association president.

"Regardless of where they may come down in the political spectrum, the election results demonstrate one thing they agree on: Politics has no place in our courts. The question put to voters was about far more than the individual Justices up for retention. it was whether our courts should be answerable to the law, or to politicians. All Floridians benefit from a system where rulings are based solely on the law without concern for political retribution, and today they voted to keep it that way." —Stanley Tate, board member, Defend Justice from Politics

"The people of Florida have a message for the special interests and politicians seeking to tip the scales of Justice. Our courts are not for sale. Unfortunately, it is a message we will likely have to deliver over and over again unless we build a more effective firewall to keep big money and politics away from the judicial branch." —Alex Villalobos, former state legislator and president, Democracy at Stake

"We can only hope that our elected leaders get the message and bring the unprecedented assault on our fair and impartial courts to an end. The Republican Party of Florida abandoned all plausible deniability of the purely political motivations by supporting removal of three honest and able Supreme Court Justices. Floridians must remain vigilant and demand respect for the balance of power between our three branches of government." —Dick Batchelor, former state legislator and spokesman for Defend Justice from Politics

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