The Republican leaders in two police and firefighter unions warned Monday that their party's attempt to oust three of Florida’s sitting justices is a “chilling’’ development that could lead to trouble for law enforcement.
“If successful, it could put active law enforcement officers in harm’s way,’’ said Jeff McAdams of the Gainesville Police Department, a Republican and the legislative chair for the Fraternal Order of Police. “Any time the courts, our judicial system, is challenged in such a fashion to bring discredit upon it, the public loses trust in government.”
The Fraternal Order of Police joined with members of the Florida Professional Fire Fighters to speak out against the decision by the Republican Party of Florida last month to oppose three justices who are up for merit retention.
Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince go before voters for a yes or no vote in November. Voters must decide whether they should be allowed to stay on the bench and, for the first time since the merit retention system was begun in 1976, a political party has taken sides on the issue.