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Justice Watchdog Wants Changes For Judicial Nominating Commissions

Ammodramus via Wikimedia Commons
Credit Ammodramus via Wikimedia Commons

A justice watchdog group is calling on the Constitution revision commission to tweak the process that sends new judges to the bench.

The governor fills vacancies in Florida’s courts, but his or her selection is confined to a list of candidates advanced by a judicial nominating commission.  It’s meant to insulate the bench from partisanship, but the Florida Access to Justice Project believes those protections are eroding.  Spokesman Damien Filer describes the goal of the group’s recommendations for the Constitution Revision Commission.

“Removing the politics from our judicial nominating commission process,” Filer says, “and doing everything that they can to ensure that we reflect the diversity of our state on our bench.”

Filer explains Florida Governor Rick Scott has already rejected 90 people recommended by the Florida bar to serve on a judicial nominating commission.  The group’s proposal includes conflict of interest protections and language encouraging diversity.

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Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.