As the secretive campaign against the three Florida Supreme Court justices up for merit retention took shape Monday, one of the targeted justices warned that the future of the state's independent judiciary was under threat, says the Miami Herald. Justice R. Fred Lewis said, “We cannot sacrifice fairness and impartiality and the court system to political whims.” The Republican Party of Florida announced it will oppose Lewis and Justices Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince because of their “activist” and liberal views.
Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group affiliated with the Koch brothers, plans to run television ads across the state chastising the justices for ruling against a 2010 proposed constitutional amendment intended by the Legislature to counter President Barack Obama's Affordable Health Care Act. Florida justices are appointed by the governor, not elected. But they come up for a merit retention vote every six years. Lewis said, “If we allow politics to overtake the three branches of government, we no longer will have the democracy we've enjoyed for 200 years.''