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

medicalmj

Medical Marijuana Supporters Renew Legalization Efforts With New Petition

Supporters of medical marijuana legalization went to court houses all over Florida on Friday in an effort to acquire the signatures needed to put the issue on the 2016 ballot. They need a total of 683,149 signatures, according to Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care, an organization dedicated to legalizing medical marijuana.


Marion County Plane Crash

Two People Dead In Weirsdale Plane Crash

Two people are dead after a single-engine aircraft crashed in Weirsdale, Fla. today. Marion County officials conducted early investigations before handing over to the FAA and NTSB.


Jimmy Nelson, owner and host of television show Extreme Fishing Adventures, films for an episode in Key West, Fla., in January 2011. Nelson, 36-year-old Dunnellon resident, gave up real estate in 2008 to host his own fishing show.

Dunnellon Resident Hosts Fishing Television Show

Jimmy Nelson, a resident of Dunnellon, Florida, grew up with an affinity for water and fishing. After his job as a real estate agent was affected by the 2006 housing market decline, Nelson began his journey of turning his fishing hobby into a television career.


Wild Waters park in Ocala, Fla. is scheduled to phase-out and shut down in 2016, much to the chagrin of long-time visitors.

Wild Waters Phase-Out Plan Upsets Visitors

Officials at Wild Waters Water Park in Ocala are moving forward with plans to phase out the park and turn it into an ecotourism site by 2016. Long-time fans of the park are protesting the loss of one of Florida’s crown jewels. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection hopes to curb the 2 million gallons of water the park drains each month from Ocala’s water system.


Flooding in front of a home on Sugar Hill Road in Steinhatchee, Fla.

Flooding Forces Dixie County Residents From Homes

Dixie County residents are being pushed out of their homes as flood waters rise after heavy rain in the past 24 hours. About 45 homes and 30 roads have been affected throughout the county.


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
Underwriting Payments