Jared Smith, who was appointed to Florida’s 13th Circuit Court by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in 2019, narrowly lost his nonpartisan primary against attorney Nancy Jacobs.
Smith had ruled in January that the 17-year-old, who was kept anonymous in court documents, could not receive an abortion, citing her ‘C’ average grades. An appeals court overturned the ruling.
Under Florida law, a judge can waive parental consent if it finds by “clear and convincing evidence” that the minor is “sufficiently mature” to decide to have an abortion. In considering those requests, judges are required to assess factors like the minor’s age, overall intelligence and emotional stability.
Hillsborough County Democrats are exuberant about Nancy Jacobs’ defeat of Circuit Judge Jared Smith in Tuesday’s primary, saying it signals that backing reproductive rights will energize voters in November.
Jacobs, who practices criminal defense and family law, has run unsuccessfully for judge twice before. She defeated Smith 52-48 percent after a contentious campaign in which a decision by Smith denying a minor permission for an abortion was an issue.
Smith, who is active in a conservative evangelical church, was appointed by then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2017 and elected in 2018 to a county judgeship. He was then appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to a circuit judgeship in 2019.