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Scott Moves to Disqualify Pariente

November 20, 2017 - 6:30pm
Rick Scott and Barbara Pariente
Rick Scott and Barbara Pariente

With evidence mounting against the impartiality of Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente, Gov. Rick Scott moved Monday to disqualify her from the case of League of Women Voters Florida, et al. v. Rick Scott (SC17-1122). 

Scott said in a written 5 p.m. press statement his decision follows disparaging remarks Pariente made after the conclusion of the oral argument in this case on Nov. 1, 2017, captured on a live microphone and widely reported.
Additionally, the governor said, Pariente made the following remarks while campaigning for retention in 2012, “A vote yes will be a vote to retain me and the other two justices. … A vote no will give Gov. Scott the right to make his appointments, which will result in partisan political appointments.” See coverage on these remarks here and here.

It is that 2012 speech that compelled national government watchdog group Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) to call for Pariente's disqualification in the case deciding Scott's appointment powers. This is what FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold said in a statement issued Saturday:

“Judicial temperament that includes ... attacking other public officials in the midst of a political campaign as Justice Pariente has done, and now attacking members of the state’s Judicial Nominating Commission (open microphone comments) destroys public faith in the courts. Such behavior betrays that certain judges are biased and the citizens of Florida cannot get a fair shake, much less justice, before certain judges." 
"... Justice Pariente has previously expressed her opinion that she did not want the governor to make judicial appointments –- the very issue in the case before the court."

The critical issue at hand is whether Scott or the next governor has the constitutional right to make judicial appointments. The court now is weighted in favor of liberal decisions -- Pariente, Lewis and Quince, all considered liberal. The three will be past age 70 next year and set to retire on the same day Scott leaves office.
Said McKinley Lewis, deputy communications director for the governor, “Governor Scott strongly believes that all Floridians deserve judges that are impartial, fair and non-partisan. Justice Pariente’s past remarks cast grave doubt on her ability to take an objective and unbiased position when evaluating Governor Scott’s authority in this case. She must be disqualified to ensure a fair decision.”
To read the motion filed by Scott, click here.

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith


Of course she shouldn't resign - I won't either. Screw Republicans. She and I have power the conservatives can't take away. So go screw Republicans!!!!!!!!! As a Democrat, I love the League of Women Voters. Many of my supporters are officers. They know Democrats are right. SCREW REPUBLICANS!!!!

Another attempt at a Power grab by Scott

Glad SOMEONE has some common-sense... THANKS "GOV" !!!

She is just like all liberal socialists, agenda before the law or Constitution.

politics at its worst on both sides...

"Impartiality" is in the eye of the beholder. How about thinking about Florida's future for once.

Sadly, judges have taken on the role of rulers. Their way or the highway. Superior attitudes, forgetting they WORK for We the People not control us. Personal opinions are to be left outside the courtroom. Elected officials presume once elected its their “position” until death. Let me just add, if you are a judge stupid enough to spout off you liberal blurb on an open mic, well, it’s time to hang up the robe and quietly find your mind. It’s out there somewhere.

Totally agree Judy Neal...1000%. Very well stated...

There is no way the other liberal justices will vote to recuse her from the case. Zero chance. At best they may get a 3 to 3 tie. I cannot stand when the judiciary begins to look like other political bodies. With predictable political vote based on partisan politics. She should recuse herself and step aside for this hearing but she will not because she hates Rick Scott and the Republicans in the legislature. And they hate her. This has going on for two decades.

A witch hunt. Scott and Corcoran want to ensure their picks are on the court. Political hypocrisy at its worst

They don’t have to go far to find a witch here. She’s right there. You cannot behave like that on the bench. You cannot make a comment like that into a microphone and in front of other justices. That is sophomoric and juvenile behavior from someone who is supposed to be an unbiased arbiter on the bench.

I agree, she must be disqualified to ensure a fair decision.

Although I am not a fan of Dan Nordby, I support this motion 100%. What Justice Pariente has done politicizing this court is something justices in the future should study and avoid at all cost. she has been a partisan warrior for political causes of th left. I don’t care if it is the right or the left, judges should be above reproach and she has not been for almost 2 decades. This is not about political philosophy – it is about fundamental fairness and using the court to push idea logical brand of politics. I don’t care if it is the right or the left, judges should be above reproach and she has not been for almost 2 decades. This is not about political philosophy – it is about fundamental fairness and using the court to push an idealogical brand of politics. If she had any sense of decency and judicial temperament and fairness, she would recuse herself without this motion being filed. But she will not. What to so few of these people have figured out is that it doesn’t really matter who the governor is. They are going to pick from the JNC list put forth by this Governors JNC members and the Bar cannot stop it.

Oops sorry for he repeat sentence. Bad editing!

Unfortunately the courts are biased and we have plenty of evidence to prove it...

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