Q&A of the Day – Florida’s Supreme Court Justices 

Today’s entry: I have been on the internet looking for information on the judges up for reappointment. It’s so important and would appreciate any guidance you could provide. Listen to you every day. 


You said you were going to cover judicial races, shortly. Will that include information on whether Supreme Court and District court judges shall be retained? Are there groups which track these judges bases on conservative or progressive decisions from which we could make an educated choice? Thanks for any help you can give. 

Bottom Line: It’s official, I’ve now received more inquiries regarding information for the judges on our ballots this November than I’ve received requests for the proposed constitutional amendments, which is a first. These two notes are among many I’ve fielded of late. Ask and you shall receive. I’m going to provide an overview and starting point for the judicial considerations on our ballots this November. These elections include the state Supreme Court and 3rd and 4th District Court of Appeals. In today’s Q&A I’ll address the Florida Supreme Court retention elections which are on all Floridians ballots. Tomorrow I’ll address the judges under consideration in South Florida’s 3rd and 4th District courts.  

First here’s an overview of how I evaluate judicial candidates in these races... 

  • I start by seeing if there’s anything specific to them that I’m familiar with that I have had strong feelings about. IE: Court rulings. Next, search for information about them online. This often includes background data such as the political party they may be registered to, associations and background information. 

So here goes with a brief overview of each candidate starting with the Florida Supreme Court Justices: 

  • Charles Canady: Republican, Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. Original judicial appointment was by Governor Jeb Bush, current appointment was by Governor Charlie Crist in 2008. Has been retained twice by voters 
  • John Couriel: Republican, Appointed by Governor DeSantis in 2020. This is his first retention election 
  • Jamie Grosshans: NPA, original judicial appointment was by Governor Rick Scott, current appointment was by Governor DeSantis in 2020 
  • Jorge Labarga: NPA, original appointment was by Governor Charlie Crist in 2009, has been retained twice by voters 
  • Ricky Polston: NPA, original appointment was by Governor Charlie Crist in 2009, has been retained twice by voters 

In addition to that overall information, one of the questions asked was if there are groups which provide additional information based on how progressive or conservative they may be. There are and if you search around, you’ll likely find some recs accordingly. Personally, I have a great deal of respect for the presentation of Ballotpedia – which is the most comprehensive repository of election related information available online. They provide what they call a “Partisan Profile” of each of these justices. Here’s what they have to say about each of these justices: 

  • Charles Canady: Rated a “Mild Republican”  
  • John Couriel: Rated a “Strong Republican” 
  • Jamie Grosshans: Choose not to participate in Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection process & doesn’t have a partisan profile rating 
  • Jorge Labarga: Rated a “Mild Republican” 
  • Ricky Polston: Rated a “Mild Republican” 

Now, I strongly encourage you to look into the information a bit further yourself. The links included in this story provide extensive background information for these candidates, but in general that’s the lay of the land with these candidates. Tomorrow I’ll address judges under consideration in South Florida’s 3rd and 4th District courts. 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.  

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com  

Gettr, Parler & Twitter: @brianmuddradio  

iHeartRadio: Use the Talkback feature – the microphone button on our station’s page in the iHeart app.   

outline map of us state of florida on blackboard

Photo: Getty Images

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