Monday, March 31, 2008

Pariente now a Women’s Hall of Famer

Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente was inducted into the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame at a March 11 Tallahassee ceremony.

Pariente was one of three women added to the hall at the event, and joins Justice Peggy Quince and former justice and current 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Rosemary Barkett.

Pariente was praised by Gov. Charlie Crist at the ceremony for her dedication to helping women and children, especially those involved in the courts, and Pariente used her acceptance talk to further push that goal.

“Having been on the Florida Supreme Court for Bush v. Gore, Terry Schiavo, school vouchers, abortion, and the death penalty, I am convinced that some of the most challenging and complex cases in which we can make a difference are those involving children and families,” Pariente told a crowd of a couple hundred seated in the Capitol courtyard under a giant tent on a cool and sometimes drizzly evening.

“I subscribe to the notion that 100 years from now it will not make a difference what our bank account was or how many awards or honors we received, but that the world can only be better if we make a difference now in the lives of children.”

She also said while she has received many awards over the years, “for me this is the Academy Award of awards.”

Crist noted Pariente’s advocacy of unified family courts, adding, “Your work will leave our judicial system a fairer and more compassionate place for women and children for generations to come.”

Inducted along with Pariente were Dr. Pallavi Patel, a board-certified pediatrician who was born in India and has done extensive medical philanthropy in both India and Zambia and supported the performing arts in Tampa, and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a former state representative and senator who was instrumental in creating the state’s prepaid college tuition program and who plays a major role in U.S. foreign policy as the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The new inductees bring to 74 the number admitted to the Florida Women’s Hall of Fame. The hall is run under the auspices of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women.

— Courtesy Florida Bar News

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