Judges matter, as we see over and over in cases like, say, Bush v. Gore. Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon, a Republican, understands this all too well and is now pushing hard to pack the Florida courts with judges that see things his way so that the Democratic members will be virtually irrelevant.
What part of “fair and impartial” don’t these “patriots” understand?
The measure would add three new justices to the court, all of whom would be named by Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Then it would go one step past Roosevelt by dividing the court in two. The three most senior justices — all, coincidentally, appointed by a Democratic governor — would be consigned to a new criminal division.
This would ensure a conservative-leaning majority on a new civil division, where pivotal cases involving the drawing of new voting districts will land next year. Republicans cite all sorts of reasons for expansion, such as needing to cut the court’s heavy caseload. They ignore the fact that the court’s caseload is now the lowest in a decade.
The Florida GOP’s effort to effectively turn its states’ judiciary into a sock puppet for Rick Scott is just one part of a nationwide campaign by the far right to ensure the only way to win a case in court is to be powerful and privileged.
As Think Progress notes, Wisconsin’s newly “elected” judge, David Prosser, had the Koch brothers behind him, and anti-gay groups poured thousands of dollars into their campaigns to depose judges who disagreed with their outdated, bigoted points of view. The same goes for the tea party’s attempts to depose judges who didn’t suit them, and Republicans who continue to block President Obama’s judicial nominees.
This is not democracy, so all those GOP Congress members and governors who wrap themselves in the Constitution should either STFU or change their ways. Meantime, it’s up to us to make sure to vote these people out of office… or of course, recall them.