WUFT News

Florida GOP opposes three Florida Supreme Court justices

By on October 1st, 2012

The Florida GOP released a statement last week saying it will oppose Florida Supreme Court Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince in the upcoming Florida retention elections.

The statement, according to a News Service of Florida press release, referenced the case of Joe Nixon, who had been convicted of the 1984 murder of Jeanne Bickner in Leon County. The Florida Supreme Court had ruled in favor of Nixon during an appeal in 2003 where Nixon said he hadn’t given his attorney the authority to admit his guilt to the jury.

The GOP statement specifically mentioned the three justices being opposed voted to set aside Nixon’s death penalty, according to the News Service of Florida press release.

Jon L. Mills, a professor and dean emeritus at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, as well as a former Florida Speaker of the House, said it was fundamental for members of an independent judiciary system to be evaluated based on their overall performance and not on any particular cases.

“I’ve argued cases in front of the Florida Supreme Court numerous times in the last four to six years,” he said.  “And I haven’t always agreed with their conclusions, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think they are competent, good justices, so I think it’s most important to look at the entire record and their competency rather than any particular case.”

According to the News Service of Florida press release, supporters of the three justices have cried against the Florida GOP, saying the decision is an attempt by Republicans to take control of the courts. The three justices form a major part of the court’s leftwing majority.

The justices will not be running against opponents, but will need a majority vote from Floridians to keep their positions.

Mills said the concept of a supreme court was it would be independent from any kind of specific interest so that it could focus on long-term issues.

According to the press release, no sitting Supreme Court justice has ever lost a retention election before.

Mills did not think any Florida GOP campaigns would change that.

“I think if people look at the purpose of an independent judiciary and look at the records of these judges, they’ll vote to retain them,” Mills said.

The original text had quoted Mills as saying “…they are confident, good justices…” when he had actually said “…competent, good justices…” This has been corrected.



This entry was posted in Florida, Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

The Ocala City Council repealed the so-called "saggy pants" ordinance at Ocala City Hall on Tuesday evening. The ordinance banned saggy pants on city property.

Ocala City Council Repeals ‘Saggy Pants’ Ordinance

The Ocala City Council voted to repeal an ordinance banning saggy pants on city property. The controversial ordinance met with criticism from the NAACP.


City of Hampton Kicks Off New Era with First Election In About a Decade

The city of Hampton holds its first election in about 10 years today after state lawmakers give local leaders a second chance instead of dissolving the city. Citizens will vote to fill city council seats and approve charter amendments.


Marty Washington, 57, of Gainesville, Florida walks by the City of Waldo Police Department on Wednesday, September 3. Waldo is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement after being accused of issuing illegal ticket quotas for officers.

Steve Maynard Named Waldo’s Interim Police Chief

The Alachua County Sherriff’s Office has named Acting Captain Steve Maynard as Waldo’s new interim police chief, after the previous chief was accused of enacting illegal ticket quotas.


National Report, a satirical website, published a story stating Williston had signed a deal to replace the local police department with a privatized force. According to the article, the new police force would be "trained, managed, and wholly operated by Walmart."

Spoof Website Turns Attention to Williston Police Department

National Report, a satirical news website, drew attention to the Williston Police Department after publishing an article about a deal made with Walmart to supply the town with a new, privatized police force. Williston PD pointed out the satirical nature of the story on Facebook.


Screen shot 2014-08-27 at 4.01.08 PM

Former Waldo Police Chief Accused of Unlawful Ticket Quota

Former Waldo Police Chief Mike Szabo and current Cpl. Kenneth Smith have been accused of misrepresentation, fraud and enforcing unlawful ticketing quotas among other allegations made by current Waldo police officers.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments