TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida's Supreme Court Nominating Commission has passed five recommendations on to Gov. Charlie Crist, who will choose the state's next Supreme Court justice from them.
The list includes a native of Cuba and a woman, but no black candidates, The Associated Press reported. Crist recently rejected a list of six candidates for a spot on an appellate court because there was no minority. The commission refused to submit a new list.
"I'm trying to consider what appropriate options I might be able to take, among them either to choose from the existing names or let the time lapse and just reopen the whole nominating process in that particular circuit, which I might do," Crist said, according to the report.
Justice Harry Lee Anstead is retiring from the Supreme Court in January, and Justice Charles Wells will retire in 2009. Both were appointed by Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles. Crist is a Republican who formerly served as the state's attorney general.
The field of candidates to replace Anstead is:
-Jorge Labarga, a Cuban native who is currently a circuit judge in Palm Beach County;
-Gill Freeman, a woman who is currently a circuit judge in Miami-Dade County;
-Alan Lawson of the 5th District Court of Appeal;
-Kevin Emas, a circuit judge in Miami-Dade County; and
-Waddell Wallace III, a circuit judge in Duval County.
Crist has appointed Ricky Polston and Charles Canady to the Supreme Court in recent months.
From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.