Florida Senate - 2017 SJR 482 By Senator Hutson 7-00481-17 2017482__ 1 Senate Joint Resolution 2 A joint resolution proposing an amendment to Section 8 3 of Article V and the creation of a new section in 4 Article XII of the State Constitution to create a 5 minimum age requirement and term limits for Supreme 6 Court Justices and judges of the district courts of 7 appeal and require 1 year of prior service as a judge 8 for appointment as Supreme Court Justice. 9 10 Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 11 12 That the following amendment to Section 8 of Article V and 13 the creation of a new section in Article XII of the State 14 Constitution are agreed to and shall be submitted to the 15 electors of this state for approval or rejection at the next 16 general election or at an earlier special election specifically 17 authorized by law for that purpose: 18 ARTICLE V 19 JUDICIARY 20 SECTION 8. Eligibility.— 21 (a) No person shall be eligible for office of justice or 22 judge of any court unless the person is an elector of the state 23 and resides in the territorial jurisdiction of the court. No 24 person shall be eligible for the office of justice of the 25 supreme court or judge of a district court of appeal before 26 attaining the age of fifty years. No justice or judge shall 27 serve after attaining the age of seventy years except upon 28 temporary assignment or to complete a term, one-half of which 29 has been served. 30 (b) No person is eligible for the office of justice of the 31 supreme court or judge of a district court of appeal unless the 32 person is, and has been for the preceding ten years, a member of 33 the bar of Florida. No person is eligible for the office of 34 circuit judge unless the person is, and has been for the 35 preceding five years, a member of the bar of Florida. Unless 36 otherwise provided by general law, no person is eligible for the 37 office of county court judge unless the person is, and has been 38 for the preceding five years, a member of the bar of Florida. 39 Unless otherwise provided by general law, a person shall be 40 eligible for election or appointment to the office of county 41 court judge in a county having a population of 40,000 or less if 42 the person is a member in good standing of the bar of Florida. 43 (c) No person is eligible for the office of justice of the 44 supreme court unless the person is, or has been, a judge for at 45 least one year. 46 (d) No person may appear on the ballot for retention to the 47 office of justice of the supreme court if, by the end of the 48 current term of office, the person has ever served or, but for 49 resignation, would have served in that office for two 50 consecutive full terms. No person may appear on the ballot for 51 retention to the office of judge of a district court of appeal 52 if, by the end of the current term of office, the person has 53 ever served or, but for resignation, would have served in that 54 office for three consecutive full terms. 55 ARTICLE XII 56 SCHEDULE 57 Applicability of eligibility requirements for appointment 58 or retention of justices and appellate judges.—The amendment to 59 Section 8 of Article V which specifies term limits and a minimum 60 age requirement for justices of the supreme court and judges of 61 the district courts of appeal, and requires a minimum one year 62 of service as a judge for a person to be appointed to the office 63 of justice, takes effect January 1, 2019. The limitations of the 64 amendment on the terms of justices and judges apply to justices 65 and judges in office on the effective date of this amendment. 66 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be 67 placed on the ballot: 68 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 69 ARTICLE V, SECTION 8 70 ARTICLE XII 71 ELIGIBILITY FOR APPOINTMENT AND RETENTION OF OFFICE OF 72 JUSTICE OR JUDGE.—Amendment imposes a 2-term limit for supreme 73 court justices, 3-term limit for district courts of appeal 74 judges, and 50-year age minimum for both; requires 1-year 75 service as judge to serve as justice. Currently, both serve 76 unlimited terms, if retained, until age 70, or older if less 77 than one-half term remains at 70; there is no age minimum or 78 service requirement. The term limits do not include partial 79 terms and apply to current justices and judges. 80 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be 81 placed on the ballot if a court declares the preceding statement 82 defective and the decision of the court is not reversed: 83 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 84 ARTICLE V, SECTION 8 85 ARTICLE XII 86 ELIGIBILITY FOR APPOINTMENT AND RETENTION OF OFFICE OF 87 JUSTICE OR JUDGE.—Proposing an amendment to the State 88 Constitution to limit the terms of justices of the Supreme Court 89 to two full terms and judges of the district courts of appeal to 90 three full terms; to require persons to attain the minimum age 91 of 50 to be appointed to such offices; and to require 1 year of 92 service as a judge for a person to be appointed a justice. 93 Currently, there are no minimum age or service requirements to 94 serve as justice or judge, and both now serve unlimited 6-year 95 terms, if retained, until age 70, or older if less than one-half 96 of a term remains at age 70. A partial term would not count 97 toward the limit, which applies to current justices and judges.