Florida Gov. Rick Scott loses bid to disqualify justice

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By: Associated Press
November 29, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Supreme Court is rejecting Gov. Rick Scott's push to disqualify a sitting state Supreme Court justice from a pending case.

The court on Wednesday denied Scott's motion in a one-sentence ruling. The high court did not explain the decision.

Scott last week filed a motion that contends Justice Barbara Pariente may be biased against the Republican governor. The motion is based on comments made by Pariente, including one caught on a microphone following a recent hearing in a case over Scott's appointment power.

Groups who are suing Scott in the case asked the court to reject the "frivolous" motion.

John Tupps, a spokesman for Scott, called it "disappointing that today's decision was made without providing any plausible justification or explanation for Justice Pariente's comments."


By: Associated Press
November 29, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Several groups suing Florida Governor Rick Scott are trying to stop his push to disqualify a sitting state Supreme Court justice from ruling in a pending case.

Scott last week filed a motion that contends Justice Barbara Pariente may be biased against the governor. The motion is based on comments made by Pariente, including one caught on a microphone following a recent hearing in a case over Scott's appointment power.

Attorneys for the League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause on Tuesday asked the court to reject Scott's motion. They called it "frivolous" and said that it was not filed at the right time.

The groups are challenging whether Governor Scott can appoint three new justices on the day he leaves office in 2019.


By: Jake Stofan | Capitol News Service
November 21, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- Rick Scott wants a Supreme Court Justice removed from a case which will decide whether the governor has the authority to appoint three new justices before he leaves office.

The case, which is a constitutional battle between the governor and the League of Women Voters, has been argued before the state's highest court.

Governor Scott has filed a motion to have Justice Barbara Pariente disqualified from the case, claiming comments made by the Justice caught on a live microphone suggest bias.

The comment in question was made while the Justices looked at and discussed a list of people who will nominate future judicial candidates. The audio is intermittent and unclear at times.

Scott's attorneys argue, due to the context of the conversation, it could only be assumed the use of the word "crazy," was directed at either Scott or one of his appointees.

Governor Scott says it's enough evidence to suggest Justice Pariente is incapable of rendering a fair verdict in the case.

Scott also included in his motion comments the Justice made back in 2012. Pariente was quoted during her retention election saying a vote against her retention, "Will give Governor Scott the right to make his appointments, which will result in partisan political appointments."

Damien Filer with Progress Florida says the argument is weak.

"What she said was that if she and others up for merit retention weren't retained, that the Governor would make partisan political appointments."

"That's just factually accurate," Filer continued. "That's what Governors and Presidents do."

It's up to Justice Pariente as to whether she will disqualify herself.

We reached out to the legal team representing the League of Women Voters, but they declined to comment.



 
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