Supreme Court Nominating Committee provides DeSantis with six candidates

by | Jun 13, 2022

 

 

Today, the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) provided Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Office the certified list of nominees to fill the vacancy on the Florida Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice Alan Lawson.

Confirmed to The Capitolist by JNC Chairman Fred E. Karlinky, the six judges include Renatha Francis, Denise Harle, Robert Long, Anne-Leigh Gaylord Moe, Meredith Sasso, and Adam Tanenbaum.

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the members of the Judicial Nominating Commission for recommending such an exemplary list of strong constitutionalist jurists and practitioners,” said DeSantis. “The JNC process is designed to select high-quality candidates for our courts. I would like to thank the Commissioners for their hard work and diligence. They have left me with a difficult choice, but I look forward to appointing our next Supreme Court Justice in the coming weeks.”

While it is currently unknown who stands out as a favorite among the group of six, two —Judges Francis and Tanenbaum— hold experience with the Supreme Court of Florida and the state House of Representatives, respectively.

Francis, notably, was a justice-designate of the Supreme Court of Florida until the Court nullified her appointment on September 11, 2020, on grounds she did not meet one of the minimum requirements imposed by the state constitution.

“I can think of no greater honor for any attorney really to be in service of our state, our great country, and to serve on the Florida Supreme Court and to be part of that process to preserve and protect the freedoms that we hold so dear and our constitutional form of government,” said Francis during her public interview. “I believe the way that we do that is by adhering to textualism, originalism, which best protects, I think, the founding principles of our country and best preserves our freedoms.”

Tanenbaum served as general counsel for the Florida House of Representatives from 2016 to 2019. In that position, he provided legal advice and counsel to the Speaker of the House and to House members and staff regarding matters of legislative interest.

Seventeen judges sought to replace Justice Alan Lawson, who announced in April that he will retire from the bench on Aug 31. Following a series of interviews conducted by the JNC, the list of applicants was cut to six. Now, DeSantis will be tasked with selecting a single replacement for Justice Lawson.

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