Next Governor Will Pick New Justices

Tallahassee, Fla. (970 WFLA) - Whether Florida voters elect Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Gillum or Republican Ron DeSantis in the November 6th election, one of them will shape the future of the Florida Supreme Court, potentially for decades.

On Monday, the current justices decided that it will be the newly elected governor --not Governor Rick Scott-- who will fill three vacancies on the Court due to the mandatory retirements of Justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince.

That decision is a result of a lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters to block Scott's attempt to fill the vacancies before he left office. Scott had previously directed the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, or JNC, to submit its nominations to fill the spots by November 10th.  

The Justices decided that Scott's move exceeded his current authority as governor, saying the JNC is an independent commission that is not subject to the Governor's deadlines.

The decision will likely spark new interest from conservative and liberal groups like the Federalist Society and Emily's List to play a hand in selecting the new justices with key cases on Florida's controversial "Stand Your Ground" and the death penalty to be decided in 2019. 


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