Thursday, July 2, 2009

Florida Supreme Court Holds That Governor Must Appoint Judge Within Sixty Days of Receiving Nominations and Cannot Reject Nominations

In Robert J. Pleus, Jr. v. Charles J. Crist, Jr., Governor (SC09-565), the Florida Supreme Court reviewed a petition for writ of mandamus filed by a retiring Judge on the Fifth District.

"The issue raised by the petition concerns the extent of the Governor’s authority in making judicial appointments under the Florida Constitution.2 Specifically, we are called upon to decide whether the Governor must fill the vacancy created by Petitioner’s resignation with a judicial appointment from the list of nominees certified to him on November 6, 2008, and do so within sixty days of receiving that list.3 Having reviewed the parties’ pleadings, as well as the briefs filed by Amici Curiae,4 and in consideration of the oral arguments, we conclude that the Florida Constitution mandates that the Governor appoint a judicial nominee within sixty days of the certification of nominees by the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Fifth Appellate District. We also conclude that, within this process, the Governor is not provided the authority under the constitution to reject the certified list and request that a new list be certified."

In the footnote [2, above], the Court stated:

"This case does not involve any claim that the process for the selection of the nominees was tainted by impropriety or illegality. Our decision in this case should not be understood to suggest that no remedy would be available to address such a tainted process."


Post a Comment