Supreme Court Justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince put a hearing on hold so that they could finish their election qualifying papers with the help of their staff members. Now, the state is investigating to see if this was in violation of the law. I would hope that Judges would know that they should not conduct their campaign activities on the people’s time and on the taxpayers’ dime!
These 3 Supreme Court Justices have also come under fire by the judicial watchdog organization, Restore Justice. This organization is critical of the Florida Supreme Court for “taking upon itself to decide matters lawfully left to voters to decide. They have disenfranchised every voter in the state on multiple occasions, and greatly overstepped their constitutional limitations, proving that they truly are one of the most activist courts in the nation.”
Citizens will ultimately get to decide if these justices deserve to remain on the Florida Supreme Court. Through a process called merit retention vote, Justices Pariente, Lewis and Quince will be listed on Florida’s November election ballot and citizens will be able cast their votes to have these Justices removed.
From Tampa Bay Online:
State launches investigation of 3 Florida justices
By BILL KACZOR and GARY FINEOUT
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The state opened a criminal investigation Thursday of three justices on Florida’s Supreme Court, responding to a lawmaker’s accusation that they violated a law against using on-duty public employees to help their election campaigns, authorities said.
Voters this fall will take an up or down vote on whether to keep the three justices on the bench another six years. Since Florida went to this system in the 1970s no sitting judge or justice has been turned out.
The justices, through a lawyer working on their campaign, have denied that they did anything illegal.
The three justices nearly missed the deadline to qualify for the ballot in April. The seven-member court abruptly put a hearing on hold for more than an hour to allow the justices to finish their paperwork and turn it in to state elections officials with just minutes to spare. READ MORE