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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Author of Federalist Society Report on Florida Justices: They ARE Activists

By: ERIC GIUNTA | Posted: October 31, 2012 SUNSHINE STATE NEWS

In an exclusive interview with Sunshine State News, Professor Elizabeth Price Foley of Florida International University College of Law condemns what she insists were "misleading" early media stories on a report she authored on three Florida Supreme Court justices up for retention on the November ballot.

The report – titled “A Review of the Florida Supreme Court: 2000-2012” and published on behalf of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, the nation's premier fellowship of conservative and libertarian lawyers and law students -- is being hailed by supporters of the justices as some sort of vindication of their record on the bench. Justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis, and Peggy Quince are accused by their critics of being left-wing activists who do not rule in accordance with the principles of originalism, the doctrine that judges ought to interpret law according to its original public meaning.

Foley’s report is a review of nine rulings over the past 12 years which she says are among the justices’ “most controversial.” Foley does say that “there does not appear to be a pattern of unprincipled decision-making by any of the justices of the Florida Supreme Court.” However, she goes on to say that “[t]here are ... discernible voting patterns on the Florida Supreme Court and they seem to be based on the general ideological leanings of the justices.”

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