WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

JUDICIAL TERM LIMITS??

Longtime and careful readers of the blog know that our respect for the judiciary knows no limits. 

Now back to reality. 

Despite our feelings about certain individuals who, like the Viet Cong, wear a version of black PJs to work, about the only thing we despise more than some lawyer who failed in private practice but has an "electable" name, are yahoo Florida legislators who try to make a name for themselves by introducing stupid but populist legislation. 

Meet Representative John Wood, Winter Haven (M)*, who has introduced a bill for term limits for appellate judges, including justices of the Florida Supreme Court.

Said Mr. Winter after removing the blade of grass from his mouth: 
"When a governor appoints somebody in their 40's to the Supreme Court- and Lawton Chiles comes to mind- and they are going to serve there for another 28 or 30 years, is that right?"

Rumpole answers: Yes, that is just fine. Unless of course Mr. Winter would have wanted Justice Scalia tossed from the bench 16 years ago in 2000,  having served since being appointed in 1986. 

What Mr. Winters really means is "I don't want no liberal, commie, pinko, soft on crime judges serving if I don't like them. But of course conservative judges should serve as long as they can.

Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Major Harding was quoted in opposition to the bill: 
"I could not help but think that one of the proper roles of the judiciary is to have qualified judges..." 

Noting that Justice Grimes took a 40K pay cut in 1973 to serve first on the second DCA before being appointed to the Supreme Court, Harding noted that Grimes told him he would never have done that without knowing that he would have the expectation to devote the rest of his legal life to the judiciary. Harding then noted this, which pleased us greatly:
"I really have a significant fear that, in my conversations with people that have served on judicial nominating commissions to find that there are numbers of unqualified people who are seeking judicial appointments because they are unable, in the practice of law, to make what a judge would make." 

Your fear, Justice Harding, is well placed sir. Welcome to our world. 

See You In Court. 

* M= moron. 

11 comments:

Not JAFI much longer said...

So, judicial elections are an obvious trainwreck. How, in your opinion, should judges be appointed and retained?

What system would be the least subject to influence by the ignorant masses AND political cronyism?

Rumpole said...

I really don't have the answer. I think judicial elections suck, except that it allows us to get rid of horrible judges like Peter Adrian, except I recall that he was elected to begin with. I guess I sort of like Florida's hybrid system. I would feel more comfortable if Florida had an official appointment system in which the JNC wasn't political and judicial nominees were rated in the way the ABA rates federal judicial nominees.

I really don't have an answer. Both systems (elections and appointments) have serious short comings.

Anonymous said...

http://www.tulanelink.com/tulanelink/electorappoint_08a.htm


http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/02192010/profile2.html


Not JAFI much longer said...

10/12 = Appellate Lawyer Full Employment Act

The Professor said...

One judge (Who shall remain nameless, because, if you knew who it was, the responses would be about him not his idea) several years ago came up with what I always thought was a good compromise. Use the JNC to fill each vacancy. The first time that judge comes before the voters he or she may be challenged directly by another candidate. Thereafter the judge, if retained, would stand for merit retention every 6 years. If ousted in a merit retention vote, the vacancy would be filled by appointment and we start again. The voters get their say in the appointment by the governor and get to decide if they like the other candidate better. The voters also get to oust a judge, if they become disenamored with him or her.

Of course the JNC system has to be fixed. The old method of 3 appointments by the governor, three by The Florida Bar and three selected by the other 6 members was a good one. That would take a great deal of the partisan politics out of it.

The trialmaster said...

Justice Harding was 100% correct. Most of the so-called "judges " are there because they can make it in private practice and running for judge is the only way they can try to make a living. We have one judge who sold Amway and never spent a day in court until she won an election merely by having a more electable name than her long time incumbent who was not as fortunate as having an electable name in dade county. There are loads of former prosecutors who are now judges because they were at the Justice building for years, and now prosecute wearing black robes from the bench. And when they rotate to civil they become disasters.

Eric C. Padron said...

Really? The ABA? Another interest group with its own agenda. The same ABA in which 1/3 of the members of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary rated Judge Robert Bork "unqualified" despite having traditionally given their unanimous approval for previous Supreme Court nominees and had previously unanimously endorsed him when he was nominated to the appellate court?

All of the processes for selecting judges or any other political position for that matter involve politics and the greatness of democracy is respecting the will of the people even when they make decisions as Justice Scalia often said are "...stupid but constitutionally permissible."

It seems that when the "Chosen One", Barak Obama plays politics with the Supreme Court by filibustering Samuel Alito or voting against Justice Roberts, whom he has admitted were both qualified, it's considered idealism but when Republicans do it it's because we are ignorant or corrupt.

The stench of the Left's hypocrisy is overwhelming and that is why both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have touched such a raw nerve in the electorate.

Eric C. Padron

Kissimmee Kid said...

"Both systems (elections and appointments) have serious short comings." That is exactly why the current system is the best we can have. We have two avenues to the bench; some are appointed, some are elected. If you are an ass, you can draw opposition. If you ain't a good ole boy with friends in Tally, you can run for office.

Taking "politics out of politics" is naive and stupid. Elections have consequences. Do you want to make sure a good person picks judges for the right reasons? Elect that person.

MC Waste Services, Inc said...

hey Remberto Diaz, Remember Days when you were fair?

Ice Cream said...

I think all judges should have term limits. I realize we would loose some excellent judges but we would also get rid of a lot of lazy judges particularly those just north of the border. This new trend where a judge stays until their retirement is vested or they have maxed out in the DROP program and then resign a day later is a joke.

Anonymous said...

What about a system where the JNC has to clear candidates to run for judge? Candidates can challenge any incumbent, as they do now, or run for an opens eat, but only if they have applied to the JNC and either been nominated to the Governor or certified as "qualified". This hybrid system preserves elections and appointments but maybe spares us the really bad ones.