The Florida Bar
The Vote’s in YOUR COURT - Judicial Merit Retention
|On This Page||Important Election Dates for 2016||
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
- The League of Women Voters of Florida has a wealth of helpful information for voters at Bereadytovote.org and VamosaVotar.org.
- Get the latest news on Facebook and Twitter
- Judicial Candidate Voluntary Self-Disclosure Statements contain information on county and circuit candidates who submitted the forms.
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
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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
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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
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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: