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Florida Supreme and Appellate Court Judge Elections, Amendment 2 (1976)

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IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXII

The Florida Supreme and Appellate Court Judge Elections Amendment, also known as Amendment 2, was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 2, 1976 ballot in Florida, where it was approved.

This amendment modified Article V, Sections 3, 10, and 11 of the Florida Constitution to require there be a Supreme Court Judge from each Appellate district, that Supreme and Appellate judges be re-elected every 6 years, and that the governor make appointments to fill vacancies based on the Judicial Nomination Commission recommendations.[1]

Election results

Florida Amendment 2 (1976)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,600,944 75.23%
No527,05624.77%

Election results via: ICPSR

Text of measure

The language that appeared on the ballot:

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ARTICLE V, SECTIONS 3, 10, 11

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution to provide that each appellate district shall have at least one supreme court justice selected from the district to the supreme court and that justices of the supreme court and judges of district courts of appeal submit themselves for retention or rejection by the electors in a general election every six years, and that failure to submit to a vote for retention or rejection, or a vote of rejection by the electors, will result in a vacancy in the office upon expiration of the current term; and to provide that the governor fill vacancies on the supreme court or on a district court of appeal by appointing a person nominated by the appropriate judicial nominating commission for a term ending on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of the year following the next general election occurring at least one year after the date of appointment.[2][3]

Constitutional changes

ARTICLE V

Section 3. Supreme Court.

(a) Organization. The supreme court shall consist of seven justices. Of the seven justices, each appellate district shall have at least one justice elected or appointed from the district to the supreme court who is a resident of the district at the time of his original appointment or election. Five justices shall constitute a quorum. The concurrence of four justices shall be necessary to a decision. When recusals for cause would prohibit the court from convening because of the requirements of this section, judges assigned to temporary duty may be substituted for justices.

(b) Jurisdiction. The supreme court:

(1) Shall hear appeals from final judgments of trial courts imposing the death penalty and from orders of trial courts and decisions of district courts of appeal initially and directly passing on the validity of a state statute or a federal statute or treaty, or construing a provision of the state or federal constitution.

(2) When provided by general law, shall hear appeals from final judgments and orders of trial courts imposing life imprisonment or final judgments entered in proceedings for the validation of bonds or certificates of indebtedness.

(3) May review by certiorari any decision of a district court of appeal that affects a class of constitutional or state officers, that passes upon a question certified by a district court of appeal to be of great public interest, or that is in direct conflict with a decision of any district court of appeal or of the supreme court on the same question of law, and any interlocutory order passing upon a matter which upon final judgment would be directly appealable to the supreme court; and may issue writs of certiorari to commissions established by general law having statewide jurisdiction.

(4) May issue writs of prohibition to courts and commissions in causes within the jurisdiction of the supreme court to review, and all writs necessary to the complete exercise of its jurisdiction.

(5) May issue writs of mandamus and quo warranto to state officers and state agencies.

(6) May, or any justice may, issue writs of habeas corpus returnable before the supreme court or any justice, a district court of appeal or any judge thereof, or any circuit judge.

(7) Shall have the power of direct review of administrative action prescribed by general law.

(c) Clerk and Marshal. The supreme court shall appoint a clerk and a marshal who shall hold office during the pleasure of the court and perform such duties as the court directs. Their compensation shall be fixed by general law. The marshal shall have the power to execute the process of the court throughout the state, and in any county may deputize the sheriff or a deputy sheriff for such purpose.

Section 10. Retention; Election and Terms.

(a) Any justice of the supreme court or any judge of a district court of appeal may qualify for retention by a vote of the electors in the general election next preceding the expiration of his term in the manner prescribed by law. If a justice or judge is ineligible or fails to qualify for retention, a vacancy shall exist in that office upon the expiration of the term being served by the justice or judge. When a justice of the supreme court or a judge of a district court of appeal so qualifies, the ballot shall read substantially as follows: "Shall Justice (or Judge) (name of justice or judge) of the (name of the court) be retained in office?" If a majority of the qualified electors voting within the territorial jurisdiction of the court vote to retain, the justice or judge shall be retained for a term of six years commencing on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January following the general election. If a majority of the qualified electors voting within the territorial jurisdiction of the court vote to not retain, a vacancy shall exist in that office upon the expiration of the term being served by the justice or judge.

(b) Circuit judges and judges of county courts shall be elected by vote of the qualified electors within the territorial jurisdiction of their respective courts. The terms of circuit judges shall be for six years. The terms of judges of county courts shall be for four years.

Section 11. Vacancies.

(a) The governor shall fill each vacancy on the supreme court or on a district court of appeal by appointing for a term ending on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of the year following the next general election occurring at least one year after the date of appointment, one of three persons nominated by the appropriate judicial nominating commission.

(b) The governor shall fill each vacancy on a circuit court or on a county court by appointing for a term ending on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January of the year following the next primary and general election, one of not fewer than three persons nominated by the appropriate judicial nominating commission. An election shall be held to fill that judicial office for the term of the office beginning at the end of the appointed term.

(c) The nominations shall be made within thirty days from the occurrence of a vacancy unless the period is extended by the governor for a time not to exceed thirty days. The governor shall make the appointment within sixty days after t he nominations have been certified to him.

(d) There shall be a separate judicial nominating commission as provided by general law for the supreme court, each district court of appeal, and each judicial circuit for all trial courts within the circuit.[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.