Florida justices say fair court system threatened


Published: Friday, October 5, 2012 at 5:15 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, October 5, 2012 at 5:15 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE — Three state Supreme Court justices say partisan and special interest attacks against them are threatening the independence and fairness of the Florida court system.

They commented Friday during a panel discussion sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Florida at Florida State University's law school in Tallahassee.

The Florida Republican Party this year broke with a non-partisan tradition in merit-retention elections by opposing retention of the three justices. If they win the up-or-down vote on Nov. 6, each will stay on the bench for six more years. If voters oust them, Republican Gov. Rick Scott would appoint replacements.

Justices Barbara Pariente and R. Fred Lewis were appointed by Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles. Justice Peggy Quince was jointly appointed by Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush when he was governor-elect.

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