Bench Memos

Eleventh Circuit Candidate Daisy Hurst Floyd

From what I hear, many members of the bench and bar in the Eleventh Circuit are alarmed by the prospect that President Obama will soon nominate to that court—the court of appeals with the highest caseload per judge in the country—someone who has virtually no litigation experience (as well as no judicial experience) and, indeed, no experience of dealing seriously with issues of law.

That candidate is Daisy Hurst Floyd, a law professor (and former dean) at Mercer University’s law school, whose legal scholarship has been dedicated predominantly to issues of legal education and law school administration.

Floyd’s longtime involvement with something called the Project for Integrating Spirituality, Law and Politics—a project directed by lefty Peter Gabel, one of the founders of the Critical Legal Studies movement—may also invite concerns.

This op-ed (registration required) yesterday by Shannon Goessling of the Southeastern Law Foundation presents a more detailed overview of why Floyd’s candidacy “has the legal and business communities [in the Eleventh Circuit] buzzing.” Its concluding paragraph:

The forced application of “social justice” standards in [a range of] complex cases by a prospective nominee with no judicial experience and a well-documented history as a “spiritual/political legal activist” risks unprecedented decisions that would test the fabric of constitutional jurisprudence. The 11th Circuit is not a laboratory.

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