Charles T. Canady

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Charles T. Canady
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida
In office
July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2012
Preceded by Peggy A. Quince
Succeeded by Ricky Polston
Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida
Assumed office
September 8, 2008
Preceded by Raoul G. Cantero, III
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 12th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Tom Lewis
Succeeded by Adam Putnam
Personal details
Born (1954-06-22) June 22, 1954 (age 62)
Lakeland, Florida, U.S.
Nationality American
Political party Republican (since 1989)
Other political
Democratic (until 1989
Website Florida Supreme Court Bio

Charles Terrance Canady (born June 22, 1954) is a Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida[1] having previously served as Chief Justice from July 1, 2010 until June 30, 2012. Canady has been a Justice on the court since taking his seat in 2008. He was a judge on the Florida Second District Court of Appeal from 2002 to 2008 and a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1993 to 2001.


Born in Lakeland, Florida, Canady graduated with a B.A. from Haverford College in 1976 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979. He was admitted to the bar the same year and began his practice in Lakeland. In 1983, he was hired as the legal counsel for the Central Florida Regional Planning Commission. From 1984 to 1990, Canady served as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, initially elected as a conservative Democrat, he switched parties in June 1989. The change created many hard feelings as it happened after he accepted Democratic money for his re-election campaign. He ran for the Florida State Senate in 1990, but was unsuccessful.

In 1992, Canady made a successful bid for the U.S. House of Representatives, narrowly defeating his Democratic opponent Tom Mims. In Congress, Canady was credited for coining the term "partial-birth abortion" while developing the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1995.[2][3] According to Keri Folmar, the lawyer responsible for the bill's language, the term was developed in early 1995 in a meeting among herself, Canady and National Right to Life Committee lobbyist Douglas Johnson.[4] Canady could not find this particular abortion practice named in any medical textbook and therefore he and his aides named it.[5] He was one of the managers appointed to conduct the impeachment proceedings of President Bill Clinton. He did not seek re-election to a fifth term in 2000, keeping a term limits pledge he made in 1992.

After leaving Congress, Canady served as general counsel for Florida Governor Jeb Bush before he was appointed a judge on the Second Florida District Court of Appeal in 2002, taking seat in November of that year. On August 27, 2008, Governor Charlie Crist appointed Canady to the Supreme Court of Florida to replace Justice Raoul Cantero, who was returning to private practice. He became the 82nd Associate Justice of the Florida Supreme Court on September 6, 2008.[6]


  1. ^ "Chronology of the Chief Justices of Florida" (PDF). The Office of Public Information, State of Florida. 2012-06-30. Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  2. ^ Gordon, Alex. "The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003". Harvard Journal on Legislation. Volume 41, Number 2, Summer 2004. (see footnote 15)
  3. ^ H.R.1833. To amend title 18, United States Code, to ban partial-birth abortions.
  4. ^ Gorney, Cynthia. Gambling With Abortion. Harper's Magazine, November 2004.
  5. ^ Simon, Adam. "Elite Discourse, Programming and Survey Response in the Partial Birth Abortion Debate" (March 2003).
  6. ^ "Justice Charles Canady: Starting a New Career" The Ledger, September 7, 2008.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tom Lewis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 12th congressional district

Succeeded by
Adam Putnam
Legal offices
Preceded by
Raoul G. Cantero, III
Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Peggy A. Quince
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida
Succeeded by
Ricky Polston