The Vote’s in YOUR COURT - Judicial Merit Retention
This Vote's in Your Court page served as a resource for voters during the 2016 election. The Florida Bar will keep it posted as a resource and to provide background information on the issue of judicial merit retention.
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2016 merit retention results: Supreme Court
2016 merit retention results: District Courts of Appeal
Florida Bar merit retention poll
The statewide merit retention judicial poll for Florida Supreme Court justices and District Courts of Appeal judges is conducted every two years by The Florida Bar. In-state members are asked to rate judges and justices who are up for retention and of whom they have direct knowledge. The merit retention poll is supervised by the Judicial Administration & Evaluation Committee of The Florida Bar.
2016 merit retention poll results
The 2016 merit retention poll was mailed to in-state Florida Bar members on Aug. 15 and the results were released Sept. 13:
Florida Bar news release
Voters retain appeals judges and Florida Supreme Court justices (Tampa Bay Times, Nov. 8)
Voters retain Florida Supreme Court justices and appellate judges, as usual (Naples Daily News, Nov. 8)
Election preview: 5th District Court of Appeal (Ocala Star Banner, Oct. 31)
Six judges seek retention for 1st District Court of Appeal (Northwest Florida Daily News, Oct. 29)
Voters get to judge the judges in November election (The Florida Times Union, Oct. 27)
Six judges seek retention for 1st District Court of Appeal (Panama City News Herald, Oct. 24)
Editorial: Don't judge justices by amendment ruling (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Oct 26)
Who's on the ballot? Appellate Judges & Supreme Court Justices (Hernando Sun, Oct. 21)
Elections 2016: First Coast Voters Weighing In On Judge Retention (WJCT, Oct. 17)
Times recommends: Yes on merit retention for Justices Canady, Labarga and Polston (Tampa Bay Times, Oct. 14)
Times recommends: Vote yes to retain 2nd DCA judges (Tampa Bay Times, Oct. 14)
Editorial: Vote ‘yes’ to retain state Supreme Court, 4th DCA judges (Palm Beach Post, Oct. 14)
Editorial: Vote to retain all 13 Florida appeal judges (Naples Daily News, Oct. 13)
Editorial: Retain justices and appellate judges (Ocala StarBanner, Oct. 12)
Editorial: Retain justices and appellate judges (Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Oct. 11)
Voters get say on justices, appellate judges (The Ledger, Oct. 7)
Florida Supreme Court judges face merit retention votes Nov. 8 (Orlando Sentinel, Oct. 6)
3 state Supreme Court, 6 Fourth DCA judges up for merit retention (Palm Beach Post, Oct. 6)
Keep justices, appellate judges: Endorsements 2016 (Orlando Sentinel, Oct. 4)
Strong support for justices, judges (Jacksonville Daily Record, Sept. 26)
Lawyers rate jurists facing retention vote (Florida Bar News, Sept. 13)
Poll: Bar members like current judges (The Ledger, Sept. 13)
Poll: Bar members like current judges (News4Jax, Sept. 13)
Florida law requires Florida Supreme Court justices and appeals court judges to be placed on the ballot in nonpartisan elections every six years, so voters can determine whether the judges or justices should remain on their courts for another six-year term.These are called "merit retention" elections. In 2016, three Supreme Court justices and 28 of the state's 62 appeals court judges will be on the ballot.
The 2016 Guide has answers to questions such as:
- What is the difference between a county and circuit court judge and an appellate judge?
- Why is it important to vote in judicial elections and merit retention elections?
- What exactly does a judge do?
Guia para los votantes en español
Videos: Merit Selection and Retention
- The Florida Division of Elections has information about candidates, election laws and more.
- Sources of authority and guidance regarding political activity by judges and judicial campaigns. This page includes links to many of the laws, rules and opinions governing candidates running for judicial office.
- Frequently Asked Questions on Merit Retention
- Details about the merit retention poll and results from past years
- Florida Supreme Court page on merit retention
- The League of Women Voters of Florida has a wealth of helpful information for voters at Bereadytovote.org and VamosaVotar.org.
- The American Bar Association’s “Florida Votes” page.
- Get the latest news on Facebook and Twitter
The Florida Bar has produced a Merit Retention brochure with biographical information provided by the judges and justices who will be on the ballot. A limited number of printed copies are available to community groups on request. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
|● Florida Supreme Court|
● First District Court of Appeal
● Second District Court of Appeal
|● Third District Court of Appeal|
● Fourth District Court of Appeal
● Fifth District Court of Appeal
|The Florida Supreme Court is the highest court in Florida. Supreme Court justices decide death penalty appeals and appeals from decisions of the appellate courts; resolve conflicts among appellate courts; and oversee the administration of Florida’s court system. |
The Florida Supreme Court has seven justices; three face merit retention votes in 2016. Read their biographies
Charles T. Canady
Ricky L. Polston
First District Court of Appeal
|The court covers Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Nassau, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counties.|
The First DCA has 14 judges; six face merit retention votes in 2016. Read their biographies.
Lori S. Rowe
Second District Court of Appeal
|The court covers Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties. |
The Second DCA has 15 judges; 10 face merit retention votes in 2016. Read their biographies.
Marva L. Crenshaw
Patricia J. Kelly
Nelly N. Khouzam
Stevan Travis Northcutt
Samuel Salario, Jr.
Craig C. Villanti
Douglas Alan Wallace
Third District Court of Appeal
|The court covers Dade and Monroe counties. It has 10 judges; two face merit retention votes in 2016. Read their biographies.|
Edwin A. Scales
Linda Ann Wells
Fourth District Court of Appeal
|The court covers Broward, Indian River, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Martin counties. It has 12 judges; six face merit retention votes in 2016. Read their biographies.|
Cory J. Ciklin
Dorian K. Damoorgian
Jonathan D. Gerber
Robert M. Gross
Spencer D. Levine
Melanie G. May
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Fifth District Court of Appeal
|The court covers Brevard, Citrus, Flagler, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter and Volusia counties.
It has 11 judges; four face merit retention votes in 2016. Read their biographies.
James A. Edwards
Vincent G. Torpy, Jr.
Florida Supreme Court and Appellate Courts decisions
Learn more about the opinions handed down by the Florida Supreme Court and the state's five appellate courts: