Florida Bar Immediate Past President Scott Hawkins’s law review essay publishes this eye-catching fact: “90% of the participating voters do not understand what the term ‘judicial merit retention’ means.” This ignorance sends a troubling message because merit retention of appellate judges has been the law in Florida since 1976 and three supreme court justices and numerous district court judges are on the November general election ballot. Even worse, Florida voters themselves chose this method to hold appellate judges accountable instead of submitting them to periodic popular elections, which was the rule in Florida for most of its history as a state.
Joseph W. Little,
Merit Retention Elections,
64 Fla. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/flr/vol64/iss5/12