For Immediate Release
Contact: Jesse Phillips
Florida Republicans Join Tea Party Efforts to Unseat Justices
Tenth Amendment Center and Campaign for Liberty also among groups opposing Labarga and Perry
ORLANDO, FL – Led by Senator Carey Baker, Florida Republicans are joining tea party activists in calling for voters to remove Justices Jorge Labarga and James Perry from the state Supreme Court this November because of their decision to remove the Health Care Freedom Act (Amendment 9) from November’s general election ballot.
“As citizens, we should be able to depend on our Justices to hear matters in an unbiased, apolitical manner, and believe that they will rule within the confines of the law,” Baker said Monday in a letter published to Republicans throughout the state. “Instead, these justices have time-and-again exceeded their authority and our trust in creating new laws from the bench. At some point, it has to stop.”
Baker had addressed the issue at a West Orlando Tea Party event featuring Dick Morris earlier this month. Last week the Collier County Republican Executive Committee issued a resolution opposing the retention of Labarga and Perry. Activists statewide have been distributing flyers and engaging in a broad social media campaign for the past three weeks, attempting to inform voters of the court’s decision before the start of early voting.
Republicans are not the only ones joining the opposition movement. Organizations such as Florida’s Tenth Amendment Center and Campaign for Liberty are among the groups who have also joined the word-of-mouth campaign, encouraging their membership to vote not to retain Labarga and Perry.
“I’m grateful that so many people throughout the state sense the urgency of the moment and are taking up our cause,” said Jesse Phillips, whose group Citizen2Citizen launched its campaign last month. “This is grass roots activism in its purest form, and we’re going to prove that you don’t need money to protect freedom. Even though the Court silenced and disenfranchised millions of its citizens by taking away our vote, we’re going to make sure our voices are heard anyway.”
No judge has ever failed a merit retention vote in Florida, needing a simple majority of approval votes in order to be retained. Tea party leadership, however, is confident this year will be different.
“The tea party movement is going to send shockwaves through the establishment not just by taking our congress back, but by taking our courts back as well,” said Jason Hoyt, whose tea party network has distributed over ten thousand anti-Labarga and Perry flyers in Orange county.
Organizers say the campaign is more than retaliation against the judges, they hope to pass a similar health care amendment in the future.
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