Judge Scott Makar

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Candidate Background

Judicial experience


Retired or Appointed Elsewhere


Expected Retirement

2023 - present

Judge, 5th District Court of Appeal. Transferred from the 1st District Court of Appeal due to redistricting.

2012 - 2022

Judge, 1st District Court of Appeal. Appointed by Governor Rick Scott. Won the retention vote in 2020 (66.3%) and 2014 (63.8%).

* Appointed instead of running for election because of a vacancy between election cycles.

legal experience

Before he became a judge, Makar had about 24 years of experience as an attorney. In that time, he argued 10 non-jury trials, and 3 cases for administrative bodies to completion.

For the first 4 years, he was assigned to a private law firm's legislative group, but he also dabbled in litigation, appellate, business, health care, environmental, and land use. Legislative practice includes explaining existing laws to clients seeking to modify laws. He also sometimes advocated changes to laws. Then for the next 9 years, he shifted his specialty to trial and appellate litigation. He also worked in administrative, legislative and transactional law.

He left private practice to work in the public sector. He spent about 5 years working for the City of Jacksonville as Chief of the Appellate Division within the Office of General Counsel. He ran the office and had responsibilities arguing on behalf of the City in state and federal courts. Cases included constitutional law, civil rights, election law, eminent domain, employment law, and more.

In 2007 he was appointed to Solicitor General for Florida by Attorney General Bill McCollum (R). In 2011, he was kept on by Attorney General Pam Bondi (R). The primary duties of this role includes overseeing civil appeals involving Florida in state and federal courts, teaching at the Florida State University College of Law, and serving as policy advisor to the Attorney General. In this role, he argued 4 cases on behalf of Florida in front of the U.S. Supreme Court:

Before that, he clerked at the U.S. Court of Appeal, 11th Circuit. He was a Summer Associate at a private practice law firm. He also interned at the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

political experience

other relevant tidbits

This judge is a member of the Federalist Society.

This judge is a textualist, who uses an interpretation of the Constitution that is advocated by the Federalist Society.

In addition to teaching at Florida State University as a part of his duties as Solicitor General, he has taught law courses at the University of Florida, Florida Coastal School of Law, University of North Florida, and Jacksonville University. He has also taught in the Justice Teaching program, where legal professionals educate K-12 students about our justice system.

He was a member of the American Law Institute.

He was also Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy (1986-88) and a member of University of Florida Law Review (1984-87). Wife is 1984 Olympian Nancy Hogshead-Makar is passionate about gender equality, has co-authored a book "Equal Pay, Title IX and Social Change" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Hogshead-Makar

additional Resources

Note: Some sources, like the Orlando Sentinel, Florida Today, and Tampa Bay Times, have a limited number of free articles.

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