Judge Terry Lewis Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking Justices’ Removal from Ballot

Aug 9, 2012

The following article was published in The Sunshine State News on August 9, 2012:

Judge Terry Lewis Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking Justices Removal from Ballot

By Eric Giunta


At approximately 3 p.m. Wednesday, Judge Terry Lewis of the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court dismissed a lawsuit brought against Florida Supreme Court Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince, and R. Fred Lewis by the Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF). 

SLF, a conservative public-interest law firm, is representing two citizen plaintiffs who allege that the justices employed the services of their law clerks to further their campaigns and falsified campaign documents, both of which would be violations of state law.

Judge Lewis dismissed the suit on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked standing — i.e., the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that they have suffered, or would suffer, any special injury not shared by citizens in general, should the justices’ names be permitted to remain on the November ballot.

Florida Supreme Court justices serve six-year terms, at the conclusion of which they face an up or down “merit retention” vote in a general election. Justices must retire on, or shortly after, their 70th birthday. No Florida justice has ever failed a retention bid.

View the original article here:  http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/print/5037785