Justices of the Florida Supreme Court

Address:
Supreme Court of Florida
500 South Duval Street
Tallahassee Florida
32399-1925

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Justice Edwin M. Randall

Served 1868 – 1885 as Chief Justice
b. Montgomery County, New York – April 5, 1822 d. July 12, 1895 – Jacksonville, Florida

Edwin Randall’s father, an attorney and a judge, tutored his son, who also chose a career in the law.  He was admitted to practice in 1844 and moved to Wisconsin in 1845 to join his brother Alexander’s law firm.  Edwin pursued his legal career in the 1840s and 1850s while his brother pursued politics, becoming governor of Wisconsin in 1857.  Edwin made a friend of newspaper editor Harrison Reed of Madison, Wisconsin, at this time.  Both Randall brothers went to Washington in 1863 to work in the Lincoln administration, in the Post Office department.  Alexander became postmaster general in the Andrew Johnson administration in 1867.  He sent his brother Edwin to Florida to work with his old friend, Harrison Reed, who was the state’s postal agent. Reed emerged in 1868 under the new state constitution as the successful Republican candidate for governor.  He soon appointed Edwin Randall as chief justice.  Under the 1868 Constitution, Supreme Court justice appointments were for life.  Randall retired in 1885, the longest-serving chief justice in the state’s history.  He participated in the Constitutional Convention of 1885, which changed the terms of the office from appointive to elective and from life to six-year terms, the chief justice to be selected by lot.  Randall practiced law in his hometown of Jacksonville until his health began to decline in 1893.  He died two years later.

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