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Gov. Scott and AG Bondi staying out of merit retention battle

4:17 PM, Oct 10, 2012   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Should political parties get involved in merit retention races for judges?

Republicans Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi say they're going to stay out of that controversial discussion.

The Republican Party of Florida has formally voted to try to oust Supreme Court Justices Fred Lewis, Peggy Quince and Barbara Pariente because party leaders think those justices are too liberal.

Critics accuse the Republican Party of injecting politics into the court system and say that could hurt the nonpartisan judiciary.

Attorney General Bondi says she won't join the party in its opposition.

"I am staying out of the issue. I have many, many cases in front of the Supreme Court and that's for the people of the state of Florida to decide."

Gov. Rick Scott dodged a question asking whether it was a mistake for the GOP to get involved with the merit retention fight.

"I'm not going to get involved in what the RPOF does."

Florida voters decided in the 1970s to make the state's judiciary nonpartisan and the state started using merit retention for judges in 1976.

First Coast News

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