Florida justice retention case sent to trial court


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Supreme Court is sending a challenge to retaining three of its justices to a trial court in Tallahassee.

The high court on Thursday cited a 1999 ruling in which it said such petitions would henceforth be transferred to trial courts to resolve factual issues.

The conservative Southern Legal Foundation, representing a Destin man, filed the petition a day before voters on Tuesday agreed to give Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince each another six years.

The foundation had asked the high court to block the up-or-down votes from being counted, alleging the three justices had not legally qualified for retention.

A Tallahassee judge previously dismissed a similar lawsuit filed by the foundation. Gov. Rick Scott would appoint replacements if the justices are not retained.