What Are the Available Sanctions Against a Sitting Judge ?
Prior to the adoption of the 1996 amendment, the only sanctions available to the Supreme Court against a sitting judge were public reprimand and removal.
Also, prior to the 1996 amendment, the Supreme Court could accept, reject, or impose a lesser sanction against a judge.
However, the Court was not authorized to increase the proposed sanction of a public reprimand. See In re Alley, 699 So.2d at 1370 n.1.
In the case of In re Alley, 699 So.2d 1369 (Fla. 1997) there appears no doubt that a sanction greater than a public reprimand would have been imposed but for the fact that at that time the constitution prevented the Court from increasing the proposed sanction recommended by the JQC. See 699 So.2d at 1370.
In In re McMillan, 797 So.2d 560 (Fla. 2001), the respondent not only committed serious violations while campaigning but also, while sitting as a judge, committed additional violations that called into question his continued fitness to hold office. See 797 So.2d at 573. See art. V, 12 (f), Fla. Const. (1995).