Florida House Passes Proposal for Judicial Term Limits

A proposal for term limits on appellate and state Supreme Court judges narrowly won approval in the Florida House, while one newspaper forecast it “faces a likely dead end in the Senate.”

The proposal was approved 76-38 in the House, with 72 votes needed to approve a constitutional amendment, according to The Associated Press. Meanwhile, MyPalmBeachPost said little interest has been shown in the plan in the state Senate and it likely will languish there.

During House debate, Democratic Rep. Jose Rodriguez said that the proposal hinted of retaliation against court decisions that displeased certain legislators. “[F]or many of us, this has a flavor of retribution,” he said.

“Passage of this bill by leaders in the Florida House is political playback plain and simple…We don’t need to limit the terms of the judges on our highest courts. What we need is experienced, seasoned jurists, and we need to keep politics out of our judicial system.” said Mark Ferrulo of Progress Florida, speaking on behalf of the Florida Access to Justice Project, according to Florida Politics.

Checks and balances on the judiciary are needed, said Republican sponsors of the proposal.