For the past 15 years, Judge John Bowman has served as a circuit judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court in Florida. Recently, Judge John Bowman adjudicated a case which had national implications.
A Republican voter had filed a lawsuit alleging that two US senators could not run in the 2016 presidential election because neither of them were American citizens. The plaintiff, Michael Voeltz, maintained that senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were not natural born citizens of the United States, as the Constitution requires, and therefore could not be placed on the ballot in Florida’s March 15 presidential primary.
The lawsuit noted that Rubio had been born in Miami in 1971 to Cuban immigrant parents who later became American citizens. Cruz’ birthplace was Canada, to an American mother and a Cuban-born father. When he was four, he moved to Texas with his parents.
Following legal tradition, lawyers for Cruz and Rubio argued that the term “natural born citizen” applied to anyone who was a citizen at birth. The Naturalization Act of 1790 held that the status also applied to persons born to US citizens outside the country. Voeltz asserted the phrase covered only persons born in the US whose parents were citizens.
Dismissing the case, Judge Bowman told Voeltz he lacked standing, that is, the capacity to file a lawsuit in that jurisdiction. The primary election went on as planned.
The American Inns of Court consists of over 25,000 judges, legal scholars, attorneys, and law students and aims to promote professionalism in the legal field. The organization also honors legal professionals through a number of awards, including the following:
- Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service. The Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Professional Service honors an American Inns of Court member with no more than 10 years of experience for dedication to pro bono or public interest activities.
- A. Sherman Christensen Award. Named after the founder of the organization, the A. Sherman Christensen Award honors an individual who has provided exceptional leadership to the American Inns of Court movement at either the local or national level.
- Lewis F. Powell, Jr., Award for Professionalism and Ethics. The Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Award for Professionalism and Ethics recognizes an individual who has demonstrated ethics and professionalism as well as legal excellence. The award is not limited to members of the American Inns of Court, with outside attorneys, judges, journalists, government officials, and philanthropists eligible for consideration.
A juris doctor graduate of St. Thomas University, Judge John Bowman serves as a circuit judge in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Outside of this role, Judge John Bowman has long been an advocate for National Adoption Day.
Sponsored by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, The Alliance for Children’s Rights, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, and the Children’s Action Network, National Adoption Day is a collaborative effort to increase public awareness of children in foster care awaiting adoption. In the United States, over 110,000 children are in foster care, and the average time to adoption is nearly three years. Many children never find a permanent home, with over 23,000 aging out of the foster care system each year.
Held on the Saturday immediately preceding Thanksgiving, National Adoption Day has helped nearly 65,000 children enter permanent homes since 2000. In 2016, 5,100 children were adopted on National Adoption Day thanks to the participation of 430 cities across the country.
Judge John Bowman was elected president of the Stephen R. Booher American Inn of Court for the 2014-15 term. As president, Judge John Bowman presided over the activities of the chapter. Find out more about this and other chapters of the American Inns of Court below.
What is the American Inns of Court?
Comprised of diverse legal professionals from across the United States, the American Inns of Court is an association tasked with upholding professionalism within the legal community. Regional chapters of the Inns of Court are found throughout the country. The association’s goals are achieved through regular gatherings, in which members are encouraged to network, develop relationships, seek advice from more experienced members, and assist in the development of new attorneys and legal professionals.
What are the membership requirements of the American Inns of Court?
Membership in the American Inns of Court requires active attendance in the chapter’s regular meetings. Generally, meetings are held once a month, from September through May. Additionally, each member serves as part of a pupilage team, and each pupilage team is in charge of organizing one program each year.
How many members are in the American Inns of Court?
With chapters across the United States, the American Inns of Court has more than 30,000 active participants and more than 100,000 alumni.
A circuit judge in Florida, Judge John Bowman has more than 10 years’ experience working with youth in the Juvenile Dependency division. Judge John Bowman remains active as an advocate for youth in need through National Adoption Day.
Every year, National Adoption Day increases awareness of the more than 100,000 children in foster care awaiting forever homes. Among the many myths surrounding adoption, one of the most prominent is that children labeled as having “special needs” always have a physical or mental handicap.
In truth, this label may simply mean that a child is a minority or is older than other children in foster care. It may also mean that a child needs to be placed in a home with his or her siblings.
Adoptive parents should know that some children do have emotional problems, but this is often the result of having birth parents who were not nurturing caretakers. These children are not in the foster care system because there is something wrong with them. They simply need a loving family to provide a stable, permanent home.
Judge John Bowman is a circuit judge and an advocate for underserved children in Florida. He works especially hard to support children in Florida’s foster care system. Early in his career, Judge John Bowman helped 145 orphaned young people find homes.
In the state of Florida, people who would like to adopt a foster child work through ChildNet, the state child welfare agency. Interested individuals and couples can attend open-house orientation sessions, held on the third Thursday of each month in Fort Lauderdale and the third Tuesday of each month in West Palm Beach.
After an orientation, prospective parents attend pre-service training classes. These classes introduce parents to Florida’s child welfare program and help them understand how to care for an adopted child. During this time, a home study and a thorough background check are also conducted.
Once approved, parents attend matching events, where they meet children who need homes. When they meet a child or group of siblings they want to include in their family, parents notify their counselor to move forward.
Children are initially placed with their new family for a trial period of no less than 90 days. A counselor visits monthly to assess the situation and see how everyone is adjusting. If all goes well, the adoption will be finalized in front of a judge, and the child will legally become a family member.
Judge John Bowman of Florida’s 17th Circuit Court has a long-standing interest in child welfare and particularly in child adoption. Earlier in his judicial career, Judge John Bowman reduced the number of children awaiting adoption in his division from 150 to five and promoted adoptions through media appearances and participation in National Adoption Day.
National Adoption Day is an annual event held in November to raise awareness about the thousands of children in U.S. foster care awaiting permanent placement with adoptive families. The National Adoption Day Coalition sponsors the event, which takes place in communities across the country.
The coalition consists of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, The Alliance for Children’s Rights, and the Children’s Action Network. The coalition provides resources for National Adoption Day on its website at www.nationaladoptionday.org.
• At-a-glance statistics about the number of children in foster care, the average wait time for a foster child to be adopted, and the number of children who age out of foster care annually.
• A step-by-step guide to adoption and links to additional information provided by coalition partners and other similar organizations.
• Access to volunteer, advocacy, and event-planning opportunities.
• Downloadable toolkits, including logos, brand assets, public service announcements, key messages, and fact sheets.
This year’s National Adoption Day is slated for November 21, although different communities may hold the event on other days. National Adoption Day facts and figures say that more than 400,000 children are in foster care in the United States and of these, more than 100,000 await adoption. The fact sheet says that on average, children wait nearly four years to be adopted and that 13 percent wait five or more years. The fact sheet says that more than 22,000 children reach age 18 without ever leaving foster care.
National Adoption Day
Judge John Bowman has implemented positive reforms to adoption mandates and helped streamline the judicial process as a judge in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court of Florida. Outside of the courtroom, Judge John Bowman works to raise adoption awareness through public speaking engagements and his participation in National Adoption Day.
Now in its 15th year, National Adoption Day is an annual event intended to raise the public’s awareness of the foster care system’s more than 100,000 children currently waiting to be placed with loving adoptive families. National Adoption Day is celebrated by policymakers, practitioners, adoption advocates, adoptive families, and the general public every Saturday before Thanksgiving at events in communities across the United States.
On November 22, 2014, individuals in 400 U.S. cities participated in National Adoption Day events, and 4,500 children around the country were adopted by their forever families. Since it was first launched in 2000, National Adoption Day has helped over 54,000 children move out of foster care and into permanent homes.
Judge John Bowman has accumulated a long record of helping streamline the judicial system to benefit children.