With fundraiser tonight, Tallahassee establishment backing Sup. Court justices in merit retention fight

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Tallahassee’s legal elite is coming together to raise funds for Florida Supreme Court Justices Barbara ParienteR. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince. The three justices face a tough merit retention election in November, 2012.

The fundraiser’s host committee includes former Gov. Reubin Askew, former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Leander Shaw and former Florida Bar and Florida State University President Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte.

The invitation to the fundraiser includes this message from host Alison Tant Richard:

Interest groups unhappy with particular decisions by Florida courts are in the process of raising enormous sums of money to be used to oust Florida Supreme Court judges up for retention. The purpose is not just to remove particular judges, but to send a message to the judiciary that judges will risk losing their seats if their decisions are not in keeping with the positions of these interest groups. If they succeed, the result will be a devastating blow to an impartial judiciary. Every judge will be looking over his or her shoulder with every decision. Good, honest lawyers will not be willing to undertake the rigors of judicial service knowing that any deviation from the narrow road dictated by special interest groups will result in a well financed campaign to unseat them.

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.