NE Florida Judge-Nominating Commission To Proceed After Court-Ordered Halt

Jun 12, 2018

The process of interviewing applicants for a Northeast Florida judge seat will be allowed to proceed, after it was halted suddenly Monday by a court ruling out of Tallahassee.

The Judicial Nominating Commission was partway through No. 5 out of 18 candidate interviews when it was forced to stop. A new appeals court ruling Tuesday reversed that decision, according to an email from the governor’s office to the commission.

Interviews of the remaining candidates will proceed next Wednesday, June 20, at the Duval County Courthouse, Room 7139, 501 W. Adams St. The JNC is constitutionally obligated to make its nominations to the governor no later than June 22, according to a court filing by Gov. Rick Scott’s office.

The legal wrangling is happening because Nassau County Judge Robert Foster is retiring in December, just days before his term ends. That’s set off a lawsuit over whether his replacement should be appointed by Gov. Scott or elected by Northeast Florida voters.

JNC Chair Pat Kilbane said whoever the replacement is may be assigned to Nassau County, like Foster was, or may be assigned to serve in another part of the fourth judicial circuit, which includes Duval, Nassau and Clay counties.  

The First District Court of Appeal is weighing a challenge by Jacksonville attorney David Trotti, who wants a chance to run for the seat.

Click here to read more about the 18 applicants for the appointment. 

Photo used under Creative Commons license. 

Contact Jessica Palombo at 904-358-6315, or on Twitter at @JessicaPubRadio.