Judicial term limits teed up in House


House members likely will start moving forward next week with a proposed constitutional amendment that would place term limits on Florida Supreme Court justices and appeals-court judges.

The House Civil Justice & Claims Subcommittee is scheduled next Thursday to consider the proposal (HJR 1), sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mount Dora.

Judicial term limits, which would require a voter-approved change to the state Constitution, are a top priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes.

Under Sullivan's proposal, Supreme Court justices and appeals-court judges would be barred from going on the ballot for merit-retention votes if they have already served 12 years in their positions.

Currently, justices and appeals-court judges may go on the ballot every six years for merit-retention votes.

State law does not limit the number of times they can go before voters, though justices and appeals-court judges face a mandatory retirement age of 70.

If the subcommittee signs off next week, Sullivan's proposal would only have to go to the Judiciary Committee before it would be ready for the full House.

The annual legislative session starts March 7.