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Voters retain appeals judges and Florida Supreme Court justices

Three justices from the Florida Supreme Court facing merit retention this election will remain on the bench, voters decided Tuesday.

The justices who will remain on the state's Supreme Court include Charles Canady and Ricky Polston, both appointed in 2008. Voters also chose to retain Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, the first Hispanic to head the Florida Supreme Court. He was appointed in 2009 and became chief justice in 2014.

Merit retention allows voters to decide whether judges should keep their positions. A judge has never been removed through this process in Florida. Judges are up for merit retention one year after their appointment by the governor, and then every six years.

The Florida Supreme Court is the highest court in the state and makes decisions on high-profile issues such as the death penalty and abortion.

Also facing merit retention were 10 judges from the 2nd District Court of Appeal, which reviews appeals from courts in several counties, including Pinellas and Hillsborough. All were retained.

They are John Badalamenti, Marva L. Crenshaw, Patricia J. Kelly, Nelly N. Khouzam, Matthew Lucas, Robert J. Morris Jr., Stevan T. Northcutt, Samuel Salario, Jr., Craig C. Villanti, and Douglas A. Wallace.

Voters retain appeals judges and Florida Supreme Court justices 11/08/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 8:09pm]
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