Bench Memos

Florida Gov. Crist to Cave?

From someone very knowledgeable about the Florida supreme court:

FYI, the buzz here in Florida is that Governor Charlie Crist is preparing to name his third Florida Supreme Court pick as soon as today. Crist’s first two picks were solid conservatives – Rick Polston and Charles Canady – but did not shift the balance on the Court since each replaced conservative jurists. There is intense pressure on Crist from the media, left-wing activists and plaintiff’s bar to preserve the liberal majority on the Court. The only conservative who made it out of the state’s judicial nominating commission is Frank Jimenez, who has been subjected to a withering character assault, much like the assault on Miguel Estrada. While Crist hasn’t announced any name yet, there’s a lot of concern here that he will give in to the Left and appoint someone other than Jimenez. If so, it will be a real lost opportunity to restore some balance to one of the worst Courts in the nation.

The rumored appointee is Jorge LaBarga, whom my source describes as a “journeyman trial judge” who “has shown no evidence of having a well-formed conservative judicial philosophy.”

Today, as it happens, is the anniversary of one of the most outrageous Florida supreme court opinions ever (a dissent, fortunately). See This Week in Liberal Judicial Activism for January 2, 1992.

Floridians who want to weigh in promptly with Gov. Crist may do so here.

[Cross-posted on The Corner.]


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