Scott could get a chance to appoint 3 new justices

June 29, 2012

By GARY FINEOUT, Associated Press


TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott could get a chance to overhaul the Florida Supreme Court.
A conservative legal group on Monday filed a lawsuit that aims to block three Florida Supreme Court justices from getting new six-year terms on the court.
Voters this fall are supposed to decide whether to keep Justices Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince on the bench.
But the Southeastern Legal Foundation, which filed suit on behalf of two Florida residents, contends that three justices did not property fill out their election-related paperwork and did not follow state law. The group is asking a Leon County circuit judge to order state election officials to remove their names from the November ballot.

“As has been the case with other candidates for high office in Florida and elsewhere, the laws and rules that govern elections and public disclosures are designed to provide public accountability and sometimes result in disqualification from the ballot,” said Shannon Goessling, executive director of the foundation. “For those in the legal profession in public office, particularly judges, there is an additional, heightened duty to follow the rules to the fullest extent because we ask judges to determine what the law is.”

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