An Ill-Thought-Out Idea Advances in Florida

Last week, the Florida House Appropriations Committee approved “a controversial bill that would ask voters to impose term limits on state appellate judges” despite testimony against it by former Supreme Court Justice Major Harding.

In the Miami Herald, Mary Ellen Klas explains that the bill, which could be on the 2016 ballot if it passes the House and Senate, would limit those who serve on the state’s supreme court and intermediate appellate courts to a total of 12 years, with some exceptions for judges appointed to partial terms. Rep. Richard Corcoran (R), a major proponent of the bill, stated that “if legislators and governors have term limits, the judiciary should as well.” Former Justice Harding, however, expressed concern that the measure would “not only discourage people from seeking a court appointment but will diminish the quality of people who serve on the bench.” According to Klas, The Florida Bar, many legal scholars, and judicial advocates also oppose the bill.

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