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Northeast Florida Judge Candidates On How They View The Constitution

Republican Party of Duval County
A mailer from the Republican Party of Duval County has this chart of the candidates' answers at the June forum to the question of constitutional philosophy.

Voters trying to choose Northeast Florida judges might find it helpful to know which U.S. Supreme Court justices the candidates identify with most when it comes to constitutional philosphy. 

The Jacksonville Bar Association hosted a forum in June with five judicial candidates, and the Duval County Republican Party recently posted video of the event.

One question the candidates fielded was a philosophical one: Is the U.S. Constitution a living document, like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer believes, or a static text, which was the view held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia?

Fourth Circuit Group 18 judge candidate Charles McBurney, a former Republican state lawmaker, says he’s firmly in Scalia’s corner.

“I am more along the line of looking at the text of the document, reviewing the text and then if there’s a question as to the meaning of the text of the document, you look to see what the words meant when it was originally written," McBurney said. 

McBurney’s opponent, Maurine Horkan, leans more toward Breyer’s position, she said. 

“If we are so attached to not thinking creatively, and solution oriented about our laws, our rules, our Constitution, then we’re not going to be able to grow and move forward," Horkan said.  

Three Northeast Florida judgeships will be decided in the Aug. 28 primary election. Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit includes Clay, Duval and Nassau counties. 

See the entire forum here: 

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.