This Vote’s in Your Court page is a resource for voters regarding judges and judicial elections. It includes the “Guide for Florida Voters,” an easy-to-read, nonpartisan brochure about the courts, the role of judges and the merit retention process. This page also includes biographies of the jurists in merit retention elections in November and results of The Florida Bar’s merit retention poll of in-state members. It also links to statements submitted by trial court judicial candidates, and includes additional voter resources as well. For copies of the “Guide for Florida Voters,” email [email protected].
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 Constitutional Judiciary Committee of The Florida Bar.
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 2018, one Supreme Court justice and 17 of the state’s appeals court judges will appear on the ballot.
The 2018 Guide for Florida Voters answers 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?
- Judicial Candidate Voluntary Self-Disclosure Statements: The statements, offered by The Florida Bar’s Constitutional Judiciary Committee, give county and circuit judicial candidates the opportunity to share information about their history, credentials and other relevant information with voters.
- 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.
- Canon 7 of the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct
- 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 American Bar Association’s “Florida Votes” page.
- Get the latest news on Facebook and Twitter
- Visit Protect Florida Democracy for information about constitutional amendments.
Learn more about the 17 appeals court judges and one Supreme Court justice facing a merit retention vote in the general election. Each biography also provides a link to the official website of the judge/justice.
JUSTICE ALAN LAWSON
JUDGE HARVEY L. JAY III
JUDGE STEPHANIE W. RAY
JUDGE BRADFORD L. “BRAD” THOMAS
JUDGE KEMMERLY THOMAS
JUDGE ALLEN WINSOR
JUDGE ANTHONY K. BLACK
JUDGE DARRYL C. CASANUEVA
JUDGE EDWARD C. LAROSE
JUDGE SUSAN H. ROTHSTEIN-YOUAKIM
JUDGE KEVIN EMAS
JUDGE IVAN F. FERNANDEZ
JUDGE NORMA S. LINDSEY
JUDGE ROBERT J. LUCK
JUDGE BURTON C. CONNER
JUDGE JEFFREY T. KUNTZ
JUDGE CAROLE Y. TAYLOR
JUDGE ERIC J. EISNAUGLE
Learn more about the opinions handed down by the Florida Supreme Court and the state’s five appellate courts: