During his time in office, the governor has appointed three justices to the state’s most important court, steering it in a more conservative direction.
Gov. Ron DeSantis is about to appoint a new Florida Supreme Court justice to fill the vacancy that will be left by Justice Alan Lawson, who is retiring Aug. 1.
This will be the fourth time that DeSantis fills a position on the seven-member court.
In mid-June, the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) provided DeSantis with a certified list of six nominees to fill the vacancy.
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Previously, DeSantis has shown a preference for candidates with ties to the Federalist Society, which is a conservative legal group. His three previous picks moved the court in a more conservative direction.
The list of nominees includes Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Renatha Francis, whom DeSantis tried to appoint to the Supreme Court in 2020, but her appointment was voided because she had not been a member of the Florida Bar for 10 years as required.
Taking into account everything that is happening at the national level, it is expected, that the court will face a number of high-profile cases in the near future, including an abortion ban.
At least five justices must participate in every case and at least four must agree for a decision to be reached, according to Florida’s court system.
During this year’s midterm election, voters will choose to retain or reject five members of the Florida State Supreme Court.
When justices are appointed they must serve for at least one year, after which they appear in a yes-no retention election.
The terms of five Florida Supreme Court justices will expire in 2023, and for that reason they will appear on the ballot this year.
They are Jamie Rutland Grosshans, John D. Couriel, Ricky Polston, Charles Canady, and Jorge Labarga.
“If FL’s Justices are NOT retained, the next Governor would be responsible for making appointments. So what’s on your ballot this year is REALLY important. Not just a new Governor, but potentially a new State Supreme Court too. One that isn’t packed by the federalist society,” Rep. Anna Eskamani (D -47) wrote on Twitter.