​There Are Judges on the Ballot in 2020: What You Need to Know

Florida Court Elections in Miami-Dade and The Florida Supreme Court 

In the state of Florida, our judicial system is made up of county and circuit court judges. County judges preside over criminal misdemeanor cases, as well as civil cases under certain circumstances. Circuit court judges preside over criminal felony cases, domestic relations, juvenile matters, probate issues, as well as civil cases involving more significant amounts of money.

Florida law dictates that individuals seeking positions as county or circuit judges must qualify as a candidate for judicial elections. The majority of judges ascend to the bench via the election process. However, in the case of the Florida Supreme Court, justices and appeal judges remain appointed by the governor before going through a retention election process to stay in office.

In 2020, one Florida Supreme Court Justice term expires on January 5, 2021. The seat is up for retention election on November 3, 2020. Additionally, local judicial candidates and incumbent judges are running in Miami-Dade. Those running for Miami-Dade County Court Judges or Circuit Court Judge are required to run non-partisan campaigns.

Information on Non-Partisan Candidates for Judicial Races in Miami-Dade 2020

Seven justices serve on the Florida Supreme Court. Although these judges take the bench through assisted appointment by the Governor of Florida, they serve six-year terms before confirming their appointment through retention voting in the next general election at least one year after taking their post.

To serve on the supreme court, justices must remain:

  • Qualified electors
  • A Florida resident
  • Admitted to practice law in Florida for ten years prior to assuming a bench role
  • Under the age of 70 years

For the Circuit Court and County Court, candidates run non-partisan campaigns involving no political party affiliation. The law additionally regulates and prevents party affiliation information on the ballot, in addition to candidates using rhetoric regarding their stances on political party affiliations.

With judicial candidates, judges running in Miami-Dade must remain impartial, only focusing on their interpretation of the law, keeping the peace, etc.

To find out more information on the non-partisan candidates and Miami-Dade County Court Judges running in 2020, the Miami-Dade County Judicial Directory outlines information on the upcoming election.

Information on Judges Running in Miami-Dade and the Florida Supreme Court from Reach Voters

Florida requires that all judges be elected or retained by vote. For this reason, the power over who holds these crucial positions remains in the hands and voices of the voters. Every Floridian is affected by the laws that state and county judges rule over. After all, they make decisions on a wide variety of issues, both large and small.

These issues include things like traffic and small claims, as well as personal injury, probate, criminal, and civil law impositions. In the majority of situations, judges remain bound to previously decided law that applies to a particular case. However, a judge may interpret these laws differently, and cases can appear ambiguous.

Even if voters feel unaffected by a particular law or judicial decision, future decisions by judges can affect them, their family, and friends.

This is why it is so important to remain informed on elections, including judicial campaigns. Voting is the best way to get your voice heard. To learn more about Miami-Dade County Court Judges and non-partisan campaigns, continue reading along with our blog, or get in touch with Reach Voters today!

  1.  “105.051 – Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : Online ….” http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0100-0199/0105/Sections/0105.051.html. Accessed 11 Jan. 2020.
  2.  “Florida Supreme Court.” https://www.floridasupremecourt.org/. Accessed 11 Jan. 2020.
  3.  “Retention election – Ballotpedia.” https://ballotpedia.org/Retention_election. Accessed 11 Jan. 2020.
  4.  “Assisted appointment (judicial selection) – Ballotpedia.” https://ballotpedia.org/Assisted_appointment_(judicial_selection). Accessed 11 Jan. 2020.
  5.  “Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.” https://www.flgov.com/. Accessed 11 Jan. 2020.
  6.  “Florida Circuit Court – Ballotpedia.” https://ballotpedia.org/Florida_Circuit_Court. Accessed 11 Jan. 2020.
  7.  “Trial Courts – County – Florida Courts.” https://www.flcourts.org/Florida-Courts/Trial-Courts-County. Accessed 11 Jan. 2020.
  8.  “Judges – Miami-Dade County.” https://www.miamidade.gov/elections/library/reports/judges.pdf. Accessed 11 Jan. 2020.


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