§ 105.09 Political activity in behalf of a candidate for judicial office limited.
Overview of Statute
This statute states that political parties and partisan political organizations are not allowed to endorse/support/assist judicial candidates. Further, any person who knowingly violates this section, whether acting individually or as a representative of an organization, is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor.
(1) No political party or partisan political organization shall endorse, support, or assist any candidate in a campaign for election to judicial office.
s. 9, ch. 71-49; s. 38, ch. 77-175; s. 635, ch. 95-147.
- Judicial Elections
1. Definition for Judicial Office
Includes the office of:
(a) Justice of the Supreme Court.
(b) Judge of a district court of appeal.
(c) Judge of a circuit court.
(d) County court judge.
A judicial office is a nonpartisan office, and a candidate for election or retention thereto is prohibited from campaigning or qualifying for such an office based on party affiliation. Fla. Stat. § 105.011(2).
2. Definition for Person
An individual or a corporation, association, firm, partnership, joint venture, joint stock company, club, organization, estate, trust, business trust, syndicate, or other combination of individuals having collective capacity. The term includes a political party, affiliated party committee, or political committee. Fla. Stat. § 106.011(14).
3. Definition for Election
Any primary election, special primary election, special election, general election, or presidential preference primary election. Fla. Stat. § 97.021(12).
4. Definition for Candidate
Any person to whom any one or more of the following applies:
Case Name: Zeller v. The Florida Bar
Citation: 909 F.Supp. 1518
Federal District Court: Northern District of Florida
Case Summary: Zeller v. The Florida Bar held that defendants were preliminarily enjoined from enforcing the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct Canon that prohibited candidates for judicial office from making campaign expenditures, since the harm to defendants in enjoining the limitations was outweighed by the more serious harm to plaintiffs and by the public interest in protecting political speech/expression.
Regulations & Guidance
May a Candidate for Judicial Office Submit Material in Writing to a Major Political Party or its Executive Committee for the Purpose of Receiving and Endorsement by the Major Political Party or its Executive Committee before the Election Process?
Judicial Candidate “Privately” Disclosing Political Party Affiliation; Judicial Candidate using Political Party Facilities; Judicial Candidate Expressing the Candidate’s Philosophy Regarding the Law and Constitution; Judicial Candidate Expressing Views on Controversial Issues such as Religious Freedom and Abortion; Judicial Candidate Publicizing Opponent’s Business Practices Gleaned from the Public Record
Fla. Jur. 2d Courts and Judges s 292, Nonpartisanship requirement
11/1/2012 Florida Bar News, The 2, Merit Retention
9/1/2000 Florida Bar News, The 21, Judicial Candidates Should Steer Clear of Partisan Politics
“Judicial Elections: Canon 7, Politics, and Free Speech” 72-AUG Fla. B.J. 22
6/15/1991 Florida Bar News, The 16, Judicial Candidates Must Steer Clear of Politics