Politics should stay out of Supreme Court, former judge says
With polls opening in two months, it’s not just President Barack Obama who’s fighting to stay in office.
In November, Florida residents can vote to either keep or replace some state Supreme Court justices and Appeals Court judges.
Former Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus spoke in Gainesville as part of the Florida Free Speech Forum, expressing her concern about the role of politics in judicial elections.
Ternus was voted off the court when she decided to overturn her state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
“Make no mistake about it,” she said. “Politicized judicial elections undermine judicial independence and confidence in the courts.”
The trend will result in a judiciary that is less likely to be fair and impartial, she said.
Ternus discussed a 2001 national poll conducted by Justice at Stake, a national, nonpartisan organization with which aims to keep courts impartial and fair, which found 76 percent of voters surveyed believed campaign contributions affect a courtroom’s decision.
“Do we really want a court system where judges campaign like politicians?”
Katherine Hahn edited this for online.
More Stories in Politics
One of the largest accredited wildlife sanctuaries, Big Cat Rescue, want to end private possession and breeding of big cats by November. To reach their goal, the sanctuary and a partnered coalition are pushing to get the “Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act” passed.
United For Care has turned in about 100,000 out of 683,149 validated signatures needed to put the Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions bill on the 2016 ballot. So far, Marion, Levy and Alachua counties have not yet received any signatures, according to the supervisor of elections offices in these counties.
Federal officials filed documents Monday responding to a lawsuit by Gov. Rick Scott. The suit says the federal government “engaged in unconstitutional coercion” to make Florida expand its Medicaid program, while federal officials say this is a baseless claim.
Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that would implement an online voter registration system for Florida. The system is planned to be in place by 2017.
Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera publicly confirmed Saturday that he is considering running for U.S. Senate in 2016. He announced his possible candidacy at the executive board meeting during the Republican Party of Florida’s quarterly meeting at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando.