Illinois becomes fifth state to consider term limits for judges this year; Florida House to vote on plan next week

A plan introduced in the Illinois House last week calls for elected state and local officials to be term limited, but with a unique proviso for the judiciary.

HCA 53 provides state legislators and executive branch officials are to be limited to 3 consecutive terms. Local governments would be authorized to implement term limits laws that would apply locally.

With respect to the judiciary, however, the bill leaves term limits to the courts themselves.

Judges shall have the authority to implement term limits for any elected judge.

Illinois now joins Florida (appellate courts), Oklahoma (Supreme Court only), Washington (Supreme Court only), and West Virginia (all elected officials) in considering some kind of judicial term limits in 2016. The Florida proposal (HJR 197), which would apply only to appellate judges, is set for a vote by the House February 23 and would requires a 3/5ths vote of the full House to advance.