Group intends to unseat activist judges

Historic City News has learned that the Republican Liberty Caucus of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville would host a speaker at their meeting on September 11 from Restore Justice 2012; an organization working to deny three Florida Supreme Court justices new terms on the high bench.

“Judicial activism” is an alternative term for “legislating from the bench” and refers to actions by judges that are seen as pushing the judge’s personal agenda; overreaching the enabling legislation that applies to the legal matter before them.

Jesse Phillips told reporters that the initial tour of his grassroots organization will reach out to tea party and other conservative groups and will reveal the results of a six-point “Merit Retention Score Card” that sharply attacks the voting records of Justices R. Fred Lewis, Peggy Quince and Barbara Pariente.

“There are a lot of people who are very frustrated about how difficult it is to find any credible information about judges,” Phillips said. “The only group that really seems to do much is the legal community; of course, they tend to produce overwhelmingly positive reviews of these justices.”

If you plan to attend, the meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 11, 2012, at VenturePlex; located at 7235 Bonneval Road in Jacksonville. Social Hour will begin at 6:00 p.m. followed by the meeting and presentation at 7:00 p.m.

Phillips hopes that St Johns and Duval County members and their guests are already wary of lawyers, in general, and their wealthy political organizations, in particular — and will pay heed to the “Merit Retention Score Card” that flunked all three justices on some major issues.

Those included:

• the 2000 presidential litigation
• removal of a constitutional amendment allowing you to opt-out of Obamacare
• rulings against the death penalty and criminal convictions
• revising rules on liability lawsuits

“We have one of the most judicial-activist courts in the nation,” Phillips said. The group gave Pariente and Quince “F” grades on all points, while Lewis got a “D” on only one, revising liability lawsuit rules, and “F” marks on all the others.

In the 2000 presidential litigation, the Florida justices sided with Democrat Al Gore on two separate challenges — only to be reversed by the US Supreme Court. Aside from their decisions on the bench, the three justices were hurt politically by a complaint that they used court employees to file their campaign papers; hurriedly on the last day of qualifying.

Governor Rick Scott ordered an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which found no illegality. No justice has been kicked off the court in almost 40 years since Florida switched to merit retention votes, instead of competitive elections.

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