Justice Watchdog Wants Changes For Judicial Nominating Commissions

Jul 10, 2017
Originally published on July 7, 2017 4:48 pm

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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