Fla. Justices: Crist Can’t Reject White Judge Nominees

Newsmax, July 2, 2009

The Florida Supreme Court says Gov. Charlie Crist can’t reject an all-white list of appeals court nominees, even though he wants to appoint someone who will make the judiciary more diverse.

The justices unanimously ruled Thursday that the Florida Constitution leaves Crist no choice but to pick one of the six white candidates submitted by a judicial nominating commission.

Crist refused to make an appointment to the Daytona Beach court after the commission refused to give him a more diverse slate. The 10-member court has no black judges.

Crist said he was disappointed by the ruling but respected it.

Justice Jorge Labarga wrote that the high court applauded Crist’s “well-intentioned” interest in promoting diversity, but that the governor could not refuse making an appointment.

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