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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Crist talks about diversity on Supreme Court



Gov. Charlie Crist has said in the past that he'd like to appoint a minority or woman to replace one of the four justices retiring from the Supreme Court, which recently lost its only Hispanic justice.  So far, Crist hasn't made the high court any more diverse with recent appointments of Justice Charles Canady and Justice Ricky Poston.

With only two of the five Supreme Court finalists fitting the bill this time around, a diversity appointment may not even happen this third time around.

When asked about the issue of diversity among the current Supreme Court finalists, Crist said of the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission: "They're doing better. Almost there. Hope springs eternal."

The current five Supreme Court finalists to replace retiring Justice Harry Anstead include one woman, Circuit Court Judges Gill Freeman, and one Hispanic, Circuit Court Judge Jorge Labarga, both of Miami. Other finalists are 5th District Court of Appeal Judge C. Alan Lawson of Daytona Beach and Circuit Judges Kevin Emas of Miami and Waddell Wallace III of Jacksonville. Labarga, Wallace and Emas made the cut as finalists before but were passed up.

While Crist has asked the 5th District Court of Appeal to reconsider the finalists they had sent him for that position, he didn't give any indication he would ask for a do-over on the Supreme Court finalists. Crist pointed out he had a fourth chance for diversity coming up with his final appointment to replace Justice Charles Wells.

"From what I've seen they look like very well-qualified candidates and approaching the diversity I think Floridians expect and deserve," Crist said. "And I have another appointment subsequent to this one."


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:08pm]


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