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FLORIDA SUPREME COURT

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Voters will decide whether to retain Justice Charles T. Wells on the state's highest court. Wells is in the peculiar situation of turning 70, the state's mandatory retirement age for judges, in March, so this vote would keep him on the bench until then. The governor would then appoint his replacement.

Charles Wells, 69
Experience Wells was appointed to the stateÕs highest court, which has seven members, in 1994 by then-Gov. Lawton Chiles. Among those who recommended him were former Gov. Reubin Askew. He had no bench experience at the time. In a 2008 poll by the Florida Bar, lawyers overwhelmingly recommended WellsÕ retention.
Education BachelorÕs degree (1961) and law degree (1964) from University of Florida.
Precedent If history is any guide, Wells has little to worry about serving his final year in office. No Supreme Court justice has ever been voted down in a merit retention election.
Assets Home, stocks, bonds
Liabilities Loan
Net worth $4.6-million.
Personal Married to Linda Fischer Wells; three grown children; six grandchildren.
About the job: Supreme Court justices rule on appeals from lower courts, death penalty cases, and on the validity of state statutes, constitutional provisions and other matters. Justices are appointed by the governor for six-year terms. Justices are paid $161,000 a year.

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