Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Retain State Jurists; Back Manatee Taxes

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Retain State Jurists; Back Manatee Taxes

Article excerpt

OUR VIEW

In the general election, three Florida Supreme Court justices and 10 appeals court judges face retention votes. All of the jurists on these courts are appointed by the governor to six-year terms. To remain on the bench, they are subject to a yes or no retention vote.

In Manatee County, voters must also decide on two local sales- tax proposals. Each involves a tax of one-half cent on the dollar.

Below are summaries of our previous recommendations on the state jurists and the tax issues. The full editorials are available at heraldtribune.com.

Justices and appellate judges

The Supreme Court justices on the ballot are Charles Canady, Jorge Labarga and Ricky L. Polston. They last appeared on ballots in 2010 and were retained. Canady was favored by 67 percent of voters, Labarga by 59 percent and Polston by 66 percent.

All three again warrant retention.

In an August poll, the Florida Bar asked the state's lawyers whether the justices should be retained, based on quality and clarity of judicial opinions; knowledge of the law; integrity; judicial temperament; impartiality; freedom from bias/prejudice; demeanor; and courtesy. The respondents indicated "considerable or limited knowledge of the justices or judges."

Canady was supported by 84 percent of the respondents, Labarga by 91 percent and Polston by 84 percent.

Bar members were also polled about judges on the 2nd District Court of Appeal and supported retaining the following judges by percentages ranging from 87 percent to 91 percent: John Badalamenti, Marva L. Crenshaw, Patricia J. Kelly, Nelly N. Khouzam, Matt Lucas, Robert Morris, Stevan Travis Northcutt, Samuel Salario Jr., Craig C. Villanti and Douglas Alan Wallace. The 2nd District includes Sarasota and Manatee counties.

In light of their performance, ratings in the Bar poll and off- the-record interviews we conducted with lawyers, the Herald-Tribune recommends retaining:

[broken bar] Canady, Labarga and Polston on the Florida Supreme Court. …

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