Florida Supreme Court Justices overcome Republican-backed campaign to oust them

11/07/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

Three Supreme Court Justices retained their seats on Florida’s high court despite a campaign by Republicans to oust them. Conservative groups like Americans for Prosperity dumped millions into ads calling on voters to reject what they call judicial activism.

Justices Peggy Quince, R. Fred Lewis and Barbara Pariente aren’t named in the ads, but they voted against putting the healthcare question on the 2010 ballot. Florida Supreme Court Justices have to be retained by voters every six years, but they usually skate through without a second glance. This time the Republican Party of Florida actually opposed their retention. But at an election night party in Tampa, City Council member Harry Cohen, a Democrat, said he would have been shocked if their effort had been successful.

“I think that Floridians saw this as an attempt to politicize the court and I think that the voters spoke in saying that they don’t want to see the courts politicized – they want to see the parties stay out of judicial races.”

Supreme Court Justices aren’t allowed to campaign for themselves so an outside group consisting mostly of Florida lawyers ran a campaign for them. Each justice was retained by more than 67% of the vote.

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