Thursday, July 2, 2009
A retiring Florida judge sought a writ of mandamus compelling Governor Crist to appoint his successor within 60 days from a list submitted by the Judicial Nominating Commission for the 5th Appellate District. The commission had submitted six names after receiving applications from 26 individuals. Governor Crist did not appoint from the submitted list and asking for consideration of three African-American applicants on order to promote diversity on the bench. The commission declined to reconsider and the position has remained vacant.
The Florida Supreme Court held today that a plain reading of the Florida Constitution leads to the conclusion that the Governor has no authority to reject the commission's list. The court declined to order the issuance of the writ as it expressed its belief that the Governor will accept the holding and name a new judge from the submitted list. (Mike Frisch)