Florida Supreme Court Decisions

In addition to hearing appeals from the Florida District Courts of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court has jurisdiction over several other types of cases. Under Article V, Section 3 of the Florida Constitution, it has mandatory jurisdiction over appeals in cases involving the death penalty or public utilities, as well as discretionary jurisdiction over appeals in cases involving the state constitution. The Court also has the authority to issue certain writs, such as writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, and prohibition.

The Florida Supreme Court consists of seven justices, who serve six-year terms. To serve on the Court, a candidate must be no older than 74 years old, a resident of Florida, registered to vote in Florida, and a member of the Florida State Bar for at least the last 10 years. Florida uses the assisted appointment method to select new justices. First, the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission selects three to six candidates. The Governor of Florida appoints the nine members of the Commission, and each of them serves a four-year term. The Governor chooses four of the members from lists of nominees created by the leadership of the Florida Bar Association.

The Governor then selects the new justice from the list provided by the Commission. However, the justice will face a retention vote in the first general election that occurs at least one year after their appointment. There are only two ways in which a justice may be removed before the end of their term. They may be removed if they are impeached by the Florida House of Representatives in a two-thirds vote and convicted by the Florida State Senate, also in a two-thirds vote. Alternatively, a justice may be removed by the Florida Supreme Court upon the recommendation of the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission. A justice may face more moderate discipline or retirement upon the recommendation of the Commission as well.

Browse Opinions From the Florida Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Florida Supreme Court
Mallet v. State  
Date: October 10, 2019
Docket Number: SC19-1038

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition to invoke this Court's discretionary jurisdiction, holding that the Florida Constitution does not authorize the Supreme Court to review cases that "may present federal issue...

Dailey v. State  
Date: October 3, 2019
Docket Number: SC18-557

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court denying in part and dismissing in part Defendant's second successive motion for postconviction relief filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851, holding that Defendant w...

Julianne M. Holt, etc. v. Michael Edward Keetley, et al.
Date: September 5, 2019
Docket Number: SC18-1171
Rogers v. State  
Date: September 5, 2019
Docket Number: SC18-150

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed Defendant's conviction and death sentence for first-degree murder, holding that Defendant was not entitled to relief on any of his allegations of error. Specifically, the Court held (1) the ju...

The Florida Bar v. Dennis L. Horton
Date: August 29, 2019
Docket Number: SC17-782
Harris v. Inch  
Date: August 29, 2019
Docket Number: SC18-1984

Justia Opinion Summary: Based on Gregory Harris's persistent history of filing pro se petitions that were meritless or otherwise inappropriate for the Supreme Court's review, the Supreme Court held that Harris had abused the judicial process an...

Donald Otis Williams v. State of Florida
Date: August 29, 2019
Docket Number: SC18-2081
Williams v. Inch  
Date: August 29, 2019
Docket Number: SC19-287

Justia Opinion Summary: Based on Donald Williams' persistent history of filing pro se petitions that were meritless or otherwise inappropriate for the Supreme Court's review, the Supreme Court held that Williams had abused the judicial process...

Bowles v. State  
Date: August 13, 2019
Docket Numbers: SC19-1184, SC19-1264

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the postconviction court summarily denying Gary Ray Bowles' successive motion for postconviction relief filed under Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851 and denied Bowles' petition for a writ of...

In Re: Amendments to Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.230
Date: July 11, 2019
Docket Number: SC19-533
In Re: Amendments to Rule Regulating The Florida Bar 4-7.14
Date: June 27, 2019
Docket Number: SC18-2019
The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.