Charles T. Canady

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Charles T. Canady
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida
Assumed office
July 1, 2018
Preceded byJorge Labarga
In office
July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2012
Preceded byPeggy Quince
Succeeded byRicky Polston
Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida
Assumed office
September 6, 2008
Appointed byCharlie Crist
Preceded byRaoul Cantero
Judge of the Florida Second District Court of Appeal
In office
November 20, 2002 – September 6, 2008
Appointed byJeb Bush
Preceded byOliver L. Green
Succeeded byMarva Crenshaw
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 12th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byTom Lewis
Succeeded byAdam Putnam
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 44th district
In office
November 6, 1984 – November 6, 1990
Preceded byGene Ready
Succeeded byJoe Viscusi
Personal details
Charles Terrance Canady

(1954-06-22) June 22, 1954 (age 65)
Lakeland, Florida, U.S.
Political partyRepublican (1989–present)
Other political
Democratic (before 1989)
EducationHaverford College (BA)
Yale University (JD)
WebsiteOfficial website

Charles Terrance Canady (born June 22, 1954) is an attorney and judge from Florida. He has served on the Supreme Court of Florida since 2008, and has been its chief justice since July 1, 2018. He previously served a two-year term as chief justice from 2010 to 2012.[1]

Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, Canady was a judge on Florida's Second District Court of Appeal from 2002 to 2008, and a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1993 to 2001.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Lakeland, Florida, Canady graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Haverford College in 1976 and a Juris Doctor 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.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

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.

Judicial service[edit]

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]

In 2013, Governor Rick Scott signed the Timely Justice Act (HB 7101)[7] which overhauled the processes for capital punishment;[8] the United States Supreme Court struck down part of this law in January 2016 in Hurst v. Florida,[9][10] leading the Florida legislature to pass a new statute.[11] The new sentencing scheme came before the Florida Supreme Court in October 2016, which held that a death sentence must be issued by a unanimous jury.[12] Canady was one of two justices to dissent from this opinion, with coverage noting his inclusion amongst Donald Trump's list of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees[13] which was released less than a month earlier.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Chronology of the Chief Justices of Florida" (PDF). The Office of Public Information, State of Florida. June 30, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 25, 2010. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  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" Archived June 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine (March 2003).
  6. ^ "Justice Charles Canady: Starting a New Career" The Ledger, September 7, 2008.
  7. ^ "HB 7101". Florida State Senate. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  8. ^ Klas, Mary Ellen (June 14, 2016). "Gov. Rick Scott signs bill to speed up executions in Florida". Miami Herald. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  9. ^ Liptak, Adam (January 12, 2016). "Supreme Court Strikes Down Part of Florida Death Penalty". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  10. ^ Alvarez, Lizette (February 2, 2016). "Supreme Court Ruling Has Florida Scrambling to Fix Death Penalty Law". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  11. ^ Berman, Mark (March 7, 2016). "Florida death penalty officially revamped after Supreme Court struck it down". Washington Post. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  12. ^ Klas, Mary Ellen; Ovalle, David (October 14, 2016). "Court again tosses state death penalty; ruling raises bar on capital punishment". Miami Herald. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  13. ^ Farias, Cristian (October 25, 2016). "Florida's Death Penalty Law Is Ruled Unconstitutional – Again". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  14. ^ Flores, Reena (September 23, 2016). "Donald Trump will expand list of possible Supreme Court picks". CBS News. Retrieved September 23, 2016 – via MSN.

External links[edit]

Florida House of Representatives
Preceded by
Gene Ready
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the 44th district

Succeeded by
Joe Viscusi
U.S. 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
Oliver L. Green
Judge of the Florida Second District Court of Appeal
Succeeded by
Marva Crenshaw
Preceded by
Raoul Cantero
Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida
Preceded by
Peggy Quince
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida
Succeeded by
Ricky Polston
Preceded by
Jorge Labarga
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida