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Pasco letters: Reject GOP attack on independent judiciary

GOP attack on judiciary is wrong

The Republican Party has made a conscious decision to assail the independence of Florida's judiciary on two fronts this November. A frontal assault comes in the form of a proposed amendment to our state constitution, and a flank assault in the form of trying to force judges to comply with the will of the party.

In a move to reduce the third branch of government from an equal partner with the executive and legislative branches, the GOP attached Amendment Five to the upcoming ballot. Amendment Five would strip the courts of a great deal of their rule-making authority, and give the Legislature control on many issues. This is a clearly abusive attempt to wrest control from what is supposed to be an equal partner in our government. Our founding fathers saw the wisdom of an independent judiciary to rein in a politicized Legislature from passing laws that violate the very tenet of our Constitution.

The GOP has also seen fit to try a flank attack by removing highly qualified, but independent judges from the Florida Supreme Court. Years ago, Florida decided the best way to keep its highest judiciary out of the political fray, was to require "merit retention" elections. If an appellate judge acted in a grossly improper fashion contrary to the community sensibilities, he or she could be removed from office by this means. However, it was never intended to act as a means to remove a judge simply for doing his or her job by deciding a case on the facts and law presented, or on the constitutionality of a legislative bill.

The GOP, still fuming over losing some issues that were very controversial, decided that if it can't control the highest court in the state, then the best action is to replace it with judges who will do its bidding. This is a bad idea. The courts remain a neutral arbiter between the highly charged political atmosphere of the Legislature and the people who may disagree with new proposed laws.

Craig A. Laporte, Port Richey

Voter purge effort just despicable

Can someone please answer a simple question? How much taxpayer money has been spent trying to purge 198 people out of 11.4 million voters? As a concerned citizen, I have a right to know.

This whole thing is nothing more than voter suppression and it's despicable.

Frank Hudak, Hudson

Pasco letters: Reject GOP attack on independent judiciary 10/11/12 [Last modified: Thursday, October 11, 2012 8:29pm]
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