Judicial elections, democratic appointment (e.g., senate confirmation), and the Missouri Plan (a/k/a "merit selection")

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Florida Supreme Court Selection Litigation

Three Florida Supreme Court justices are required to leave the court in January because of reaching a mandatory retirement age. All three are, the Orlando Sentinel writes, part of what is "widely considered a left-leaning majority on the seven-member court." That has led to the possibility that their replacements could spur a rightward shift of the court, debate about whether Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who will also leave office in January, should have the authority to appoint the new justices or whether that power should go to his successor. 

The Judicial Nominating Commission will have 60 days — expiring shortly after the election — to nominate a list of three to six people for each court vacancy. Unless a lawsuit stops this process. "The League of Women Voters and Common Cause of Florida have asked the state supreme court to stop the Judicial Nominating Commission from nominating candidates to fill the vacancies," The Tampa Bay Times reports. "Their case was previously struck down because Scott had not yet picked new justices, but last week, he directed the commission to begin seeking nominees."

Monday, September 3, 2018