Koch brothers join fight against Fla. Supreme Court justices

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A move to oust three justices from the Florida Supreme Court gained steam Tuesday as a conservative group critical of their rulings joined other already established opponents angered over recent decisions on a range of issues from voting rights to ObamaCare, reports the News Service of Florida.

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group financially backed by billionaires Charles and David Koch, was slated to release the first in an expected series of ads aimed at removing Justices Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince from the state’s highest court. The AFP ad criticizes the court for rejecting a legislatively sponsored constitutional proposal to invalidate the Affordable Care Act. “Many states, like Ohio, gave their citizens the right to vote against it,” the 30-second spot says. “Not Florida. Our own Supreme Court denied our right to choose for ourselves. Shouldn’t our courts protect our rights to choose.”

The ads come days after the Republican Party of Florida executive committee voted to actively oppose the judges, who all face retention elections Nov. 6. The three have also inspired support from former Justices Major Harding and Raoul Cantero, who have said the judiciary needs to be shielded from the political winds. “Maintaining the integrity and impartiality of Florida’s judges is critical to preserving the principles of democracy on which our country was founded,” Florida Bar president Gwynne Young said in a statement Tuesday. “Non-partisan merit retention elections were established by the people of Florida to ensure that the rule of law, not popular thought or political view, is the basis for all judicial decisions.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.