Judges, Justices, and amendments on our November 2022 ballot

Updated: Oct 17

Link to see your Duval County sample ballot:

https://www.duvalelections.com/Voter-Information/Register-to-Vote-Update-Address-Name-Party/Voter-Status

 

There are 3 amendments on our ballot.

Here's the League of Women Voters-Florida recommendations:

https://lwvfl.org/amendments-2022/

Click here for more about abolishing the CRC which is one of the amendments.

 

Florida Supreme Court

 

FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL

If you're one of the many left scratching your head over the judicial races on the ballot this year, the Florida Bar is now offering some potentially helpful information.  Each election year the Bar conducts a poll which gives practicing attorneys across the state a chance to weigh in on whether currently serving justices deserve to continue in that role.  From the Florida Bar merit retention poll for the FIRST DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL (in my view these aren't good percentages):

% of poll respondents saying retain

Ross L. Bilbrey 68%

Susan L. Kelsey 69%

Robert E. Long, Jr. 63%

Lori S. Rowe 71%

Thomas “Bo” Winokur 63%

If you have any other information that you'd like us to share with our readers, please email us. Here's a few articles that we've found so far.

Excerpt: In recent years, Bilbrey has chided the Florida Department of Health and DeSantis administration for dragging its feet in issuing cannabis licenses and upheld the removal of a Confederate monument in Madison, Florida. He also upheld the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce’s tax-exempt status.

https://jaxtoday.org/2022/10/12/nov-8-voter-guide-northeast-florida-judges/


Excerpt:

“In the specific context of abortion regulation, the Florida Supreme Court has held that even ‘minimal’ loss of the constitutional right of privacy is per-se irreparable injury,” Kelsey wrote last month, She added, “We are therefore required to presume irreparable harm.”

https://www.chronicleonline.com/news/local/judge-susan-kelsey/image_d664a4a0-dc7e-5c5d-9f49-4c385753b1ee.html


Excerpt:

Circuit Judge Robert Long Jr. of Tallahassee, a Federalist Society member who shares similarities with GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, has been named to the 1st District Court of Appeal (DCA).

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/2020/06/10/desantis-elevates-tallahassee-circuit-judge-florida-appeals-court/5338149002/


Excerpt:

Eight of the First District’s 15 members are publicly associated with the Federalist Society. Chief Judge Lori Rowe and Judge Thomas Winokur have been described as active members of the group’s Tallahassee lawyers’ chapter.

https://www.floridabulldog.org/2021/09/writing-on-the-wall-first-district-appeals-court-supports-desantis-pandemic-agenda/


In case you're unfamiliar with the Federalist Society and why it might be alarming for a judge to be an active member, I offer you the following articles.

Excerpt: Florida voters could do what the Sun Sentinel urged in an editorial last week: Remove Justices Charles Canady, Ricky Polston, Jamie Grosshans and John Couriel, all key players in the court’s “harsh new majority.” The newspaper recommends keeping moderate Justice Jorge Labarga, “whose principled but lonely dissents in high-profile cases have exposed the majority’s radical activism.” ... This campaign season, editorials in some major newspapers call for rejecting the four arch-conservative justices, arguing they’ve broken trust with the public.
https://www.floridabulldog.org/2022/10/voters-have-power-to-oust-far-right-supreme-court-justices-nov-8-will-they-use-it%EF%BF%BC/

Excerpt: Reshaping the court has long been the goal of Republicans in Tallahassee. Since the GOP controlled the governor’s mansion and the Legislature for the past two decades, only the Supreme Court has checked its power, blocking top priorities from school vouchers to redistricting. After DeSantis was elected, he got to replace the three justices who were appointed by Democratic governors, and some believe Florida’s high court is now among the most conservative in the country. But in his zeal to reshape the courts, DeSantis, or his staff, has been accused of injecting politics into the judicial selection process. ... Last year, Florida’s Supreme Court judicial nominating commission stocked with Federalist Society members failed to recommend a single person who was black to the bench, leaving the high court without a black justice for the first time in decades. ... The Federalist Society is dominated by conservatives and libertarians, and Trump has drawn on its members and their advice to fill federal court seats.
https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2019/11/29/desantis-is-reshaping-floridas-courts-with-the-federalist-societys-help/

Excerpt:
the Federalist Society is a powerful network of conservatives and libertarians that has a chapter at many major law schools. ... In 1982, when the Federalist Society was founded, the conservative legal movement was still finding its footing. But an ideological counter-revolution was beginning. ... During the next four decades, the conservative legal movement set about radically changing the way that the law was talked about. They promoted a mode of legal interpretation that was purportedly value-neutral, based on their understanding of what the Founders wrote. The movement’s most powerful tool was its people: the Federalist Society started functioning as a kind of Rolodex for legal jobs around the country, especially clerkships and judgeships. ... The Dobbs case also illustrates the Federalist Society’s broader influence beyond judicial appointments. The conservative movement now has a legal intelligentsia of academics, writers, and national advocacy groups who fundamentally shaped how Roe was overturned. ... While originalism may sound intuitive and straightforward, many in the legal world feel cynical about its true aims. Critics of the conservative legal movement view the approach as a theoretical fig leaf used to justify decisions that line up with conservatives’ policy preferences. ... critics believe that originalism, even when applied in good faith, often has unacceptably harmful consequences. The three liberal Justices’ dissent in Dobbs is in part a scathing critique of the originalist approach: the Founders, they wrote, “did not recognize women’s rights. When the majority says that we must read our foundational charter as viewed at the time of ratification . . . it consigns women to second-class citizenship.” https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-education/how-the-federalist-society-won
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