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Other Views from Those in the Know
Doug Guetzloe
co-founder, Florida Tea Party
Florida Bar Should Stay Out of Judicial Politics

Recently the president of the Florida Bar came out in opposition to political parties getting involved in recommending yes or no votes on retaining judges at the District Court of Appeal and Florida Supreme Court.
Gwyne Young, the Bar leader, did this ostensibly in reaction to the announcement that the Republican Party of Florida was recommending a “No” vote on the three Supreme Court judges facing a retention vote in November.
I say it is the Florida Bar that should stay out of judicial politics, not the political parties. 

The Florida Bar is a closed shop with a mandatory membership fee -- much like a union -- and uses those funds to influence legislation and politics all the time. Its lobbying corps is usually the largest and most powerful in Tallahassee, with upwards of 25 to 30 lobbyists during session.
Collectively, political parties represent the voters’ interests and therefore have a stake in the outcome of judicial elections. The Bar should remove the restrictions placed on judicial candidates that prohibit them from expressing their political party preference and their thoughts on judicial matters that come before the courts.
I’d rather know in advance what a candidate or current judge thinks about catalyst issues than wait to find out in a judicial ruling.
The Florida Bar wants all judges to flow through them and divorce that right from the people. The Florida Bar with its medieval-like control over the state’s lawyers and judges represents the ultimate conflict-of-interest in its efforts to control legislation and the judiciary.
I say, open the closed, smoke-filled rooms of the Florida Bar and let the sun shine in with open dialogue about judicial qualifications and viewpoints on major issues.
Free speech demands it.
Doug Guetzloe is a talk show host, Chairman of Ax the Tax and a founder of the Florida Tea Party.


Published Sunday, September 30, 2012

by Dr. Radut.