A decision by the Florida Supreme Court in February to place eight-year term limits on chief judges has drawn the collective criticism of judges, lawyers and professional groups, according to document filed with the state’s highest court.
On Feb. 9, the court approved a series of changes to court administration. Another controversial provision bars individual judges or professional organizations of jurists from requesting funds from the state Legislature. Lower court justices were particularly critical of the term limit provision, saying chief judges are now elected by their peers, who are in a better position to judge if they are doing a good job. Making someone step down after eight years regardless of performance is a solution in search of a problem. “The changes of today in many instances are simply that, change for the purpose of change…” Justice Fred Lewis wrote in dissent.