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A Supreme Court Justice on Merit Retention


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Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente stands in the court's deliberation room, photo by Amy Kiley.

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A number of judicial questions are on the ballot in Florida today. Some ask voters to pick between two candidates up for election to Circuit and County Courts. The others are yes/no questions on merit retention.

Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeal judges undergo merit retention votes during the first general election after appointment and every six years after that. This year, no Supreme Court justices are on the ballot, but about one third of the state’s appellate judges are.

Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente survived an attempt to remove her from office on a merit retention vote in 2012. Two years later, she tells 90.7’s Amy Kiley what she’s learned about merit retention – and its role in a democracy.


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