Florida Judicial Discipline, Amendment 8 (1966)

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The Florida Judicial Discipline Amendment, also known as Amendment 8, was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment in Florida which was approved on the ballot on November 8, 1966.

This amendment modified Article V of the Florida Constitution to provide a procedure for the selection, discipline, retirement and removal of judges, and to establish the Judicial Qualifications Commission.[1]

Election results

Florida Amendment 8 (1966)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 533,513 78.88%
No142,86321.12%

Election results via: Florida Secretary of State

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

NO. 8—CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE V, ADDING A SECTION

JUDICIAL, Selection, discipline, retirement and remove of Justices and certain Judges. Proposing an amendment to Article V of the State Constitution providing residence qualifications to hold the offices of Justices of the Supreme Court, Judge of a District Court of Appeal and Circuit Judge; providing a retirement at age of 70; providing method of disciplining, automatic or involuntary retiring or removal and providing for a Judicial Qualifications Commission.[2][3]

Constitutional changes

Section __. Appointment and Election of Justices and Certain Judges.

(1) No person shall be eligible for the office of justice of the supreme court or judge of a district court of appeal unless he is a citizen of this state, and unless he is, and for a period of ten (10) years has been, a member of the Florida bar; and no person shall be eligible for the office of judge of a circuit court unless he is a citizen of this state and unless he is, and for a period of five (5) years has been, a member of the Florida bar. The judges of other courts shall be citizens of this state and residents of the county served. Any senator or member of the house of representatives otherwise qualified shall be eligible for appointment or election to any judicial office, notwithstanding that it may have been created or its emoluments increased during the time for which he was elected.


Section __. Discipline, Retirement and Removal of Justices and Certain Judges.

(1) Except as it provides for mandatory retirement, this section shall apply to every justice of the supreme court and judge of the district courts of appeal and circuit courts. It shall be the sole method of disciplining, automatically or involuntarily retiring or removing such justices or judges, provided that all such justices or judges shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office. All justices and judges shall automatically retire at age seventy (70) except those w ho held any judicial office on July 1, 1957; provided, however, that such mandatory retirement shall not prohibit a justice or judge from serving the entire term to which he was appointed or elected if he attains his 70th birthday after serving at least one-half of such term.

(2) There shall be a judicial qualifications commission composed of:

(a) Two (2) judges of the district courts of appeal appointed by the judges of those courts; two (2) circuit court judges appointed by the judges of those courts;

(b) Two (2) members of the Florida bar, who shall have practiced law in this state for at least eight (8) years, appointed by the board of governors of the Florida bar; and

(c) Three (3) citizens, each of whom shall have been a resident of this state for at least five (5) years, neither of whom shall be a justice or judge of any court, active or retired, nor a member of the Florida bar, appointed by the governor. When a member appointed under paragraph (a) ceases to be a judge of the court from which he was appointed or a member appointed under paragraph (b) ceases to be a member of the Florida bar, or a member appointed under paragraph (c) becomes a just ice or judge of any court or a member of the Florida bar, his membership on the commission shall terminate and a successor shall be appointed for the remainder of his term. No member of the commission appointed under paragraphs (b) or (c) shall be eligible to succeed himself. Except as provided herein, no member of the commission shall hold a public office and no member shall hold office in a political party. The compensation and terms of office of members of the commission shall be fixed by law, provided that not more than one-third (1/3) of the terms of the members shall terminate in any two (2) year period. No recommendation of the commission to the supreme court shall be valid unless concurred in by two-thirds (2/3) of its members. The commission shall elect one (1) of its members to serve as chairman.

(3) Any justice or judge to whom this section applies may be disciplined by private reprimand or removed from office for willful or persistent failure to perform his duties or habitual intemperance or conduct unbecoming a member of the judiciary or he may be involuntarily retired for disability seriously interfering with the performance of his duties, which is, or is likely to become, permanent in nature. After such investigation as it deems necessary, the judicial qualifications commission may conduct a hearing concerning the removal, discipline or retirement of a justice or judge or request the supreme court to appoint three (3) special referees, who shall be active or retired justices or judges of courts of record, to hear and take evidence in any such matter, and to report thereon to the commission. All hearings shall be held in the county in which the justice or judge involved resides. Testimony shall be under oath, administered by a member of the commission or a special referee , and subject to the penalties for perjury. If after hearing, or after considering the record and report of the referees, the commission finds good cause therefor, it shall recommend to the supreme court the removal, discipline or retirement of the justice or judge. The supreme court shall review the record of the proceedings on the law and facts and shall order removal, discipline or retirement, as it finds just and proper, or wholly reject the commission’s recommendation. Upon an order for involuntary retirement for disability, the justice or judge shall thereby be retired at retirement pay to be fixed by law which as to a justice of the supreme court, judge of a district court of appeal or circuit judge shall not be less than two-thirds (2/3) of his then compensation if he has served for ten (10) years or more as justice or judge of such court or courts. Upon an order for removal, the justice or judge shall thereby be removed from office, and his salary shall cease from the date of such order. The supreme court shall make rules providing for the procedure before the commission and the referees and the extent to which communications shall be privileged or confidential. A justice or judge shall be disqualified in any proceeding involving his own discipline, retirement or removal. The supreme court shall by rule provide for the disqualification of any member of the commission or referee and for the ad hoc appointment of a person to take the place of a disqualified person.

(4) In the event a judge is removed from office, his judicial service shall not provide immunity from disciplinary proceedings for professional misconduct performed during his term of office or prior thereto.[1]

Path to the ballot

  • The amendment was placed on the ballot by Committee Substitute for Senate Joint Resolution 485 of 1965.
  • The amendment was filed with the Secretary of State on June 25, 1963.[1]

See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Florida Constitution Revision Commission, "Amendments, Election of 11-8-66"
  2. Ocala Star-Banner, "Automatic Voting Machine Sample Ballot," November 1, 1966
  3. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.