On Supreme Court, timing is everything
Gov. Charlie Crist not only has four seats on the Florida Supreme Court to fill, but he'll soon replace three of former Gov. Jeb Bush's appointees on the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission with his own. That will further tightenthe governor's grip on the process of replacing justices Raoul Cantero, Kenneth Bell, Harry Lee Anstead and Charles Wells over the next year. The governor doesn't want the process of replacing Cantero and Bell to begin until his appointees are on the nine-member commission.
This is why Crist has not yet formally accepted the Cantero and Bell resignations, as former St. Petersburg Times associate editor Martin Dyckman explains in this op-ed piece. The three JNC members whose terms expire July 1 are Tina McCain Matte, Basil Bain and Diana Santa Maria. Bain and Santa Maria are seeking reappointment.