Syprett: Debating elected vs. appointed judges

I was initially taken aback by Hugh Culverhouse Jr.’s reported response to the unseating of Circuit Judge Brian Iten and the recent election of his replacement, attorney Maria Ruhl. Culverhouse warned (or threatened) all sitting judges in our 12th Judicial Circuit to be prepared for opposition and vigorous campaigns when their terms expire.

That article was followed by Tom Tryon’s thoughtful column advocating at least a merit-retention process upon the expiration of a judge’s term if there is no opposition.

The debate over elected versus appointed judges has been going on for years within the Florida Bar and in our own legal community. I am pleased to see that Herald-Tribune has now inspired a renewed and public discussion. Continue reading…