In Support of a Fair, Impartial Judiciary
We have been active supporters for years of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society. The Hon. Ben Overton, former Chief Justice, is a member of our panel. The Society’s mission statement asserts that, “we are dedicated to educating citizens about the courts’ vital role in our system of government and to preserving our state’s judicial history.”
A judicial system, fair, impartial and free from political influences, has long been the hallmark of Florida jurisprudence. It is incumbent upon us, as supporters of a fair and impartial judiciary in this State, to inform the public of the importance of keeping politics out of our judicial system and to oppose efforts to compromise the courts’ impartiality because of concerns over votes on merit retention as a result of voters’ displeasure with judicial decisions.
Courts cannot determine cases based on the unpopularity of issues with voters or of the unpopularity of the litigants who appear before them. The very essence of a fair and impartial judiciary is to rise above such considerations and to render sound, thoughtful resolutions of disputes as dictated by the Constitution and the law of the State. Nothing less and nothing more.
As such, we need to ensure that citizens recognize that each time a court renders a decision, one side of a case or the other is likely to experience disappointment. If the decision maker is fair and impartial and remains faithful to the Constitution and the laws of this State, however, that disappointment should not translate into attacks on the Court as an institution.
A fair and impartial court system is vital to the proper functioning of our society and is necessary to ensure that all disputes are resolved according to the rule of law and our Constitution, and not upon partial political influence.