The Florida Republican Party said Friday it is adding its heft to an effort to unseat the last three state Supreme Court justices appointed by a Democratic governor.
State GOP Chairman Lenny Curry said the party’s executive board has voted to oppose the merit retention of Justices Barbara Pariente, Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince on Nov. 6. A conservative group, Restore Justice 2012, has labeled the three a liberal-leaning bloc on the seven-member court, which has stymied a variety of initiatives advanced by the Republican-ruled legislature in recent years.
Curry didn’t say whether the party would steer cash toward Restore Justice, which has reported only modest fundraising. Instead, party leaders lashed out at the justices as activists, pointing to a specific death penalty ruling.
“While the collective evidence of judicial activism amassed by these three individuals is extensive, there is one egregious example that all Florida voters should bear in mind when they go to the polls on election day,” GOP spokeswoman Kristen McDonald said. “These three justices voted to set aside the death penalty for a man convicted of tying a woman to a tree with jumper cables and setting her on fire.”