Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former state Rep. Dudley Goodlette wants seat on state high court

TALLAHASSEE — Dudley Goodlette had a successful career in the Florida Legislature. His latest assignment was giving legal advice to the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission.

Now the Republican lawyer from Naples wants to be a justice of the Florida Supreme Court, where four of seven justices will leave by the end of 2009.

"I think I would add value to the court, and I'm anxious to convey that," Goodlette said Tuesday as his name circulated among prominent lawyers and supporters of Gov. Charlie Crist, who will make an unprecedented string of court picks.

Goodlette, 60, was known as a diligent and well-prepared lawmaker who got along well with Democrats and Republicans, and was a strong defender of an independent judiciary.

He focused extensively on judicial issues, such as finding a stable long-term funding system for court operations, the workload of the Supreme Court and a program to ensure that low-income people had access to courts.

Unlike most applicants for the court, Goodlette held a partisan political office and has a voting record that reflects his views.

He voted with the Republican House majority on two highly contentious issues struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court: allowing then-Gov. Jeb Bush to override the courts in the Terri Schiavo case in October 2003 and tax-supported school vouchers in April 1999.

It will be weeks, possibly months, before a nine-member Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission accepts applications for the first two lame-duck justices, Raoul Cantero and Kenneth Bell.

But before the commission begins its work, Crist is expected to fill three upcoming vacancies on the nominating panel.

Goodlette, a graduate of the University of Florida law school, has never served as a judge. Four of the seven current justices were judges previously. The other three were practicing lawyers at the time of their appointments.

If Goodlette has a drawback, it could be that he is a white man. All four departing justices are white men (Cantero is Hispanic).

The National Organization for Women has called on Crist to seek qualified women.

Two of the seven justices, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince, are women.

Justices earn $161,200 a year. Goodlette reported a net worth of $3.9-million on his financial disclosure statement filed last year.

A native of Hazard, Ky., Goodlette served in the state House from 1998 to 2006, when term limits forced him to return full time to his Naples law practice, which focuses mainly on land use and real estate.

Known for a self-deprecating sense of humor, Goodlette said of full-time lawyering: "I'm not sure that's the highest and best use of the limited talent and skills that I have."

Steve Bousquet can be reached at [email protected] or

(850) 224-7263.

Former state Rep. Dudley Goodlette wants seat on state high court 06/10/08 [Last modified: Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday


    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start


    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy


    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)


    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102