Unions representing police officers and firefighters entered the fray over the fate of three Supreme Court justices Monday, blasting the Republican Party of Florida for its efforts to depose the incumbents, reports the News Service of Florida. The Florida State Fraternal Order of Police and Florida Professional Fire Fighters said it was standing with Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince in their merit retention campaigns, where the three face no opposition but must get the support of a majority of voters to remain in office.
“We want the courts to be able to impartial (decisions) and be able to make the right decisions based on the law,” said Nelson Cuba, president of the Florida State Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 530 and a member of the Duval County Republican Executive Committee. Officials on a conference call with reporters said they were concerned that the politicized battle over the judiciary could also erode the public’s confidence in law enforcement officials. And they said the battle against the three justices was driven more by rulings against Republican legislative efforts than legitimate criticism of the trio. “This is the ultimate in judge-shopping,” said James Preston, president of the Florida State FOP.