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Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission Regulation, Amendment 3 (1976)

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IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXII

The Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission Regulation Amendment, also known as Amendment 3, was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 2, 1976 ballot in Florida, where it was approved.

This amendment changed Article V, Section 12 of the Florida Constitution to rules regarding the Judicial Qualifications Commission.[1]

Election results

Florida Amendment 3 (1976)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,514,623 72.85%
No564,44127.15%

Election results via: ICPSR

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

Proposing an amendment to Section 12 of Article V of the State Constitution to provide that proceedings before the judicial qualifications commission shall be confidential until the filing of formal charges against a justice or judge with the Clerk of the Supreme Court, to require the judicial qualifications commission to make available all information in its possession upon request of the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the Governor, to provide that improper motive shall not be required for removal of a justice or judge whose conduct demonstrates unfitness to hold office, and to provide for service on the Supreme Court by certain chief judges of the judicial circuits, rather than justices of the Supreme Court, when the judicial qualifications commission has undertaken proceedings against a justice of the Supreme Court.[2][3]

Constitutional changes

ARTICLE V

Section 12. Discipline; Removal and Retirement.

(a) There shall be a judicial qualifications commission vested with jurisdiction to investigate and recommend to the Supreme Court of Florida the removal from office of any justice or judge whose conduct, during term of office or otherwise occurring on or after November 1, 1966, (without regard to the effective date of this section) demonstrates a present unfitness to hold office, and to investigate and recommend the reprimand of a justice or judge whose conduct, during term of office or otherwise occurring on or after November 1, 1966 (without regard to the effective date of this section), warrants such a reprimand. The commission shall be composed of:

(1) Two judges of district courts of appeal selected by the judges of those courts, two circuit judges selected by the judges of the circuit courts and two judges of county courts selected by the judges of those courts;

(2) Two electors who reside in the state, who are members of the bar of Florida, and who shall be chosen by the governing body of the bar of Florida; and

(3) Five electors who reside in the state, who have never held judicial office or been members of the bar of Florida, and who shall be appointed by the governor.

(b) The members of the judicial qualifications commission shall serve staggered terms, not to exceed six years, as prescribed by general law. No member of the commission except a justice or judge shall be eligible for state judicial office so long as he is a member of the commission and for a period of two years thereafter. No member of the commission shall hold office in a political party or participate in any campaign for judicial office or hold public office; provided that a judge may participate in his own campaign for judicial office and hold that office. The commission shall elect one of its members as its chairman.

(c) Members of the judicial qualifications commission not subject to impeachment shall be subject to removal from the commission pursuant to the provisions of Article IV, Section 7, Florida Constitution.

(d) The commission shall adopt rules regulating its proceedings, the filling of vacancies by the appointing authorities, the disqualification of members, and the temporary replacement of disqualified or incapacitated members. The commission’s rules, or any part thereof, may be repealed by general law enacted by a majority vote of the membership of each house of the legislature, or by the supreme court, five justices concurring. Until formal charges against a justice or judge are filed by the commission with the clerk of the supreme court of Florida all proceedings by or before the commission shall be confidential; provided, however, upon a finding of probable cause and the filing by the commission with said clerk of such formal charge s against a justice or judge such charges and all further proceedings before the commission shall be public. The commission may with seven members concurring recommend to the supreme court the temporary suspension of any justice or judge against whom formal charges are pending.

(e) The commission shall have access to all information from all executive, legislative and judicial agencies, including grand juries, subject to the rules of the commission. At any time, on request of the speaker of the house of representatives or the governor, the commission shall make available all information in the possession of the commission for use in consideration of impeachment or suspension, respectively.

(f) Upon recommendation of two-thirds of the members of the judicial qualifications commission, the supreme court may order that the justice or judge be disciplined by appropriate reprimand, or be removed from office with termination of compensation for willful or persistent failure to perform his duties or for other conduct unbecoming a member of the judiciary demonstrating a present unfitness to hold office, or be involuntarily retired for any permanent disability that seriously interferes with the performance of his duties. Malafides, scienter or moral turpitude on the part of a justice or judge shall not be required for removal from office of a justice or judge whose conduct demonstrates a present unfitness to hold office. After the filing of a formal proceeding and upon request of the commission, the supreme court may suspend the justice or judge from office, with or without compensation, pending final determination of the inquiry.

(g) The power of removal conferred by this section shall be both alternative and cumulative to the power of impeachment and to the power of suspension by the governor and removal by the senate.

(h) Notwithstanding any of the foregoing provisions of this section, if the person who is the subject of proceedings by the judicial qualifications commission is a justice of the supreme court of Florida all justices of such court automatically shall be disqualified to sit as justices of such court with respect to all proceedings therein concerning such person and the supreme court for such purposes shall be composed of a panel consisting of the seven chief judges of the judicial circuits of the state of Florida most senior in tenure of judicial office as circuit judge. For purposes of determining seniority of such circuit judges in the event there be judges of equal tenure in judicial office as circuit judge the judge or judges from the lower numbered circuit or circuits shall be deemed senior. In the event any such chief circuit judge is under investigation by the judicial qualifications commission or is otherwise disqualified or unable to serve on the panel, the next most senior chief circuit judge or judges shall serve in place of such disqualified or disabled chief circuit judge.

(i) Schedule to Section 12.

(1) The terms of office of the present members of the judicial qualifications commission shall expire on January 1, 1975, and new members shall be appointed to serve the following staggered terms:

a. Group I. The terms of five members, composed of two electors as set forth in Section 12(a)(3) of Article V, one member of the bar of Florida as set forth in Section 12(a)(2) of Article V, one judge from the district courts of appeal and one circuit judge as set forth in Section 12(a)(1) of Article V, shall expire on December 31, 1976.

b. Group II. The terms of four members, composed of one elector as set forth in Section 12(a)(3) of Article V, one member of the bar of Florida as set forth in Section 12(a)(2) of Article V, one circuit judge and one county judge as set forth in Section 12(a)(1) of Article V, shall expire on December 31, 1978.

c. Group III. The terms of four members, composed of two electors as set forth in Section 12(a)(3) of Article V, one judge from the district courts of appeal and one county judge as set forth in Section 12(a)(1) of Article V, shall exp ire on December 31, 1980.

(2) The 1976 amendment to Section 12 of Article V, if submitted at a special election, shall take effect upon approval by the electors of Florida.[2]

See also

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References

  1. REFERENDA AND PRIMARY ELECTION MATERIALS [Computer file]. ICPSR ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [producer and distributor], 1995. doi:10.3886/ICPSR00006.v1
  2. 2.0 2.1 Florida Constitutional Revision Commission, "Amendments, Election of 11-2-76"
  3. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.