merit retention

The Florida Bar has just released the 2016 judicial voter guide, all in an effort to familiarize voters with candidates who wear robes.

Floridians have overwhelmingly chosen to retain three state Supreme Court justices in Tuesday’s election. But a limited-government advocacy group is trying to block Sec. of State Ken Detzner from being allowed to certify the judges’ re-election.

The challenge, filed with the Florida Supreme Court late on Monday, comes from the Southeastern Legal Foundation. It’s the same group that tried to get Justices Pariente, Quince and Lewis thrown off the ballot in June.

Several Republican Senators in Florida say they’re disappointed in their own party for “politicizing the merit retention election” for three state Supreme Court Justices. But, the Republican Party of Florida is firing back, saying those Senators are just out of step with the rest of the party.

In late September, the Republican Party of Florida’s executive board voted to oppose the retention of three Supreme Court Justices:  Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente, and Peggy Quince.  

Florida Supreme Court

Media campaigns against three Florida Supreme Court justices are accusing them of making decisions based on political leanings. But, the judges’ supporters argue, it’s campaigns like that, not the judges, who are injecting politics into what’s supposed to be a non-partisan branch of government.

In 1998, former Florida governors, Democrat Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush, jointly appointed Justice Peggy Quince to the Florida Supreme Court.

Capital Report: 08-10-2012

Aug 10, 2012

Tuesday’s Florida primary and the upcoming general election in November are the first since the highly controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which removed all limits on how much corporations can spend to help federal candidates get elected. As Jessica Palombo reports, Florida’s campaign finance system already allows unlimited money to flow through committees that help elect candidates.

Capital Report: 07-27-2012

Jul 27, 2012

An apology made to the gay rights community is the latest in the controversy between Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll and her former staffer. As Sascha Cordner reports, Carroll’s apology stems from a comment she made more than a week ago implying black lesbians aren’t attractive, while trying to defend herself against allegations that she and a female aide were caught in “a compromising position.”

Coming soon on Capital Report

Jul 27, 2012
Florida Center for Investigative Reporting

The "Dog Days of Summer" have crept into Tallahassee this week but there was still lots of action happening behind the scenes. We'll tell you all about it on Capital Report. Here's a sneak peak of the stories you'll hear tonight:

Carroll says she's sorry:

Perspectives: Merit Retention

Jun 14, 2012

Besides all those federal, state and local political races this year, Florida voters will also determine the fate of three state supreme court justices and a multitude of appeal court judges. Those are called “merit retention” votes and we get an explanation of what that means from the outgoing and incoming presidents of the Florida Bar, Scott Hawkins and Gwynne Young.

It’s About Florida: Merit Retention

Jun 7, 2012

The Florida Bar is reminding voters that a number of judges will be on the ballot in the coming election. The Bar says many citizens don’t know they have a voice in whether judges and the state’s supreme court justices stay behind the bench and Sean Desmond, President of the Bar’s Young Lawyers Division, says that’s partly because they can’t campaign.

Host: Trimmel Gomes

Guests: Sean Desmond, President of the Young Lawyers Division for The Florida Bar.

A $300,000 campaign is underway to educate Florida voters on the importance of knowing all the facts before they elect appeals court judges as well as Supreme Court Justices on the November ballot. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, the initiative to let Floridians know about the state’s judicial merit retention elections comes just as conservative opposition is mounting against three Supreme Court Justices.