FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2010
‘Restore Justice’ Campaign Seeks Removal Of Supreme Court Justices Labarga and Perry For Healthcare Vote
Citizen2Citizen, partnering with the Central Florida Tea Party Council, is launching the “Restore Justice” campaign, advocating for a vote not to retain Florida Supreme Court Justices Jorge Labarga and James Perry this November, after placing politics above the law to deny Floridians of their constitutional right vote on Health Care Freedom (Amendment 9). Labarga and Perry upheld a circuit court ruling by Judge James Shelfer to remove Amendment 9 from the November ballot. As such, these justices sided with the liberal political agenda of four Florida citizens having close ties to the Obama administration who filed suit in late June, alleging that three statements (comprising a mere twenty words) in the ballot summary were misleading, to thereby disenfranchise millions of Floridians desiring to exercise their constitutional right to vote on the legislature’s proposed amendment.
Perhaps most notably, the Supreme Court disagreed with the State’s argument to simply follow its own unanimous 2004 ruling, when the Court ordered the amendment text (not containing problematic words in shorter ballot summary) of a legislatively-proposed amendment to be placed on the ballot in lieu of a ballot summary. The outcome was reached despite the fact that three current Justices joined in the unanimous 2004 decision (Pariente, Lewis and Quince). By allowing the unchallenged amendment text to be presented to voters only for proposals the Court “likes” (2004), as opposed to uniformly doing so in respect of proposals “liked” by a supermajority of their representatives, the Court is able to masquerade as a neutral arbiter merely protecting voters, when in fact they are deciding for them (“legislating from bench”).
“Such partisan politics,” says Citizen2Citizen founder Jesse Phillips, “is unbecoming of any judge especially on the Supreme Court. Their role is to interpret the law and uphold our constitutional right to vote on legislatively proposed amendments, not to defend Obama’s healthcare plan under the guise of ‘protecting’ the voters. The fact of the matter is that this amendment was voted on by a supermajority of our elected representatives to constitutionally be placed on the ballot. And yet the court arbitrarily decided to ignore the constitution and intent of the legislature, by listening to only four of our neighbors, deciding for and silencing millions of voters who suddenly can’t weigh in.”
“This is a tremendous injustice and power grab by the Court, which we have the opportunity to restore this November” added Jason Hoyt, founding member of the Central Florida Tea Party Council.
Florida state law requires that Supreme Court justices face a merit retention vote by the voters every six years, giving Floridians the opportunity to remove justices in cases of poor performance, bad behavior, inconsistent rulings, etc. The campaign believes that such overt judicial activism, usurping the constitutional amendment process by abusing its powers as a “gatekeeper” to deny citizens of their right to vote on these measures constitutes bad behavior. Such actions warrant the removal of Labarga and Perry through a “No” vote this November.
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ADDENDUM: Background Information
During the last legislative session, the Florida House passed the Health Care Freedom Act (sponsored by Rep. Scott Plakon and Sen. Carey Baker) which would have allowed Floridians to vote in November on a constitutional amendment, designed to protect individuals’ health care freedom (i.e. right to purchase/not purchase health insurance/services w/out being subject to tax/penalty/fine) against individual mandates, whether federal (Obamacare) or state (MA) in origin. Had 60% of voters supported the measure, it would have been enshrined as a fundamental right under Article I (Declaration of Rights) of the State Constitution. An August vote in Missouri, in which a comparable statutory measure was approved by more than 71% of voters, in addition to other preliminary polling, indicated an exceptionally strong possibility of successful passage in Florida.
The amendment was challenged by four individuals who claimed that the ballot summary language was misleading, yet continued to fight for removal even after proponents offered to place the unchallenged amendment text (not containing the three problematic statements) on the ballot. These plaintiffs each had close ties with the Obama administration and other radical leftists groups, including:
• Attorney Mark Herron: most notable for helping the Democrats systematically target the legality of military ballots in 2000. He also formed a “Liberty and Justice for All” ECO political slush fund best known for representing public officials accused of ethical violations.
• Dr. Mona Mangat: a regional director for Doctors for America, an off-shoot of Organizing for America, part of the Democratic National Committee which helped Obama get elected.
• Diana Demerest: a self-proclaimed “unabashed progressive Democrat” and former Secretary to the Palm Beach County Democratic Party.
• Louisa McQueeney: a volunteer and supporter for MoveOn.org, George Soros’ brainchild and beneficiary, the SEIU, the volatile group which physically attacked Tea Party members, Amnesty International, which opposes traditional marriage and the National Partnership for Women and Families, which advocates federally-funded abortion.
Instead of allowing Floridians to decide for themselves, the judicial branch has decided for them, in derogation of the rights of millions seeking to cast their vote on this important issue, and in support of the liberal agenda of these four citizens.
The Florida Medical Association, National Federation of Independent Business, and many other industry leaders endorsed the amendment. “It is unfortunate that the court’s opinion prevents Floridians from voting on an amendment that would give patients the right to choose their own health care plan,” FMA Executive Vice President Tim Stapleton said in a statement.
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