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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida Supreme Court: Gov. Charlie Crist must pick judge from JNC list

So much for appointing a majority of the Supreme Court.

In a unanimous decision, the Florida Supreme Court repeatedly said it "rejects" Gov. Charlie Crist's efforts to require the Judicial Nominating Commission to submit a new list of judges for the 5th District Court of Appeal. The court said Crist had to pick a judge from the original list he received. Crist argued he could wait until he was provided a slate of candidates with more diversity.

"The governor lacks authority under the constitution to seek a new list of nominees from the JNC and has a mandatory duty to fill the vacancy created by petitioner's retirement with an appointment from the list certified to him on Nov. 6, 2008. Because we believe the governor will fully comply with the dictates of this opinion, we grant the petition but withhold issuance of the writ," the court wrote.

The opinion can be found here Download Sc09-565

Crist said in a statement: "While I am disappointed by today’s decision that the Judicial Nominating Commission cannot reconsider these important nominations, I respect the Supreme Court’s decision and their consideration of this case. I remain committed to ensuring that the diversity of the people of Florida is represented in our judiciary. In respect to the court’s decision, I look forward to interviewing and considering the nominees for the 5th District Court of Appeal.”

Marc Caputo, Times/Herald Tallahassee bureau

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 4:50pm]

    

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