Supreme Court Retention Race Becomes Heated

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The organized opposition to the retention of three Florida Supreme Court justices has their supporters accusing the Republican Party of trying to take over the judiciary.

Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince would become the first justices removed since merit retention elections began in 1978 if they lose Nov. 6.

The state Republican Party is opposing the justices, marking the first time a Florida political party has taken a position in a retention race.

The party and other conservative groups say the justices are “activists” who make their decisions based on politics and not the law.

The judges and their supporters say their opponents are cherry-picking from hundreds of opinions. They say the GOP wants to control the court just like it does the Legislature and governorship.