TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - The Florida Chamber of Commerce joined the supporters of Gov. Charlie Crist's Thursday decision to appoint former Congressman Charles Canady to the state Supreme Court.

Canady has been general counsel to a governor and lawmaker in both the state and U.S. houses of representatives, as well as a judge in the state's Second District Court of Appeals.

"This is a great day for Florida and we hope it's a sign of more good things to come," said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the state Chamber of Commerce.

"Judge Canady is well suited to serve on Florida's high court. We're optimistic that the governor has signaled a trend with Judge Canady's appointment that will continue with decisions on other vacancies."

Also praising Crist's appointment was Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum. Canady was elected to the state House in 1984 and switched to the Republican party in 1986. He served in Congress from 1992-2000, where his and McCollum's paths crossed from time to time.

"Having served with Charles Canady on the House Judiciary Committee, I know he is a man of brilliant intellect and integrity who appreciates that the role of a judge is to interpret the law," said McCollum, who spent 20 years in the House.

Crist will soon find a replacement for Justice Kenneth Bell. He is retiring Oct. 1. Judges Ricky Polston, Peter Webster and Waddell Wallace are the candidates.

"As you can imagine, being Florida's business advocate, we're very involved in the process," said Daniel Krassner, communications officer for the Chamber.

"We care deeply about who is on Florida's high court but we prefer not to comment on specific names while the process is live."

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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