(CN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist does not have the authority to reject a list of judges because it does not include enough minority candidates, the Florida Supreme Court ruled.
Crist rejected a list from the Judicial Nominating Commission of the Fifth Appellate District to replace retiring Judge Robert Pleus Jr. He requested that the commission reconsider the list, with the addition of three African-American candidates.
The commission reconvened and decided to re-submit the original list. Crist has not filled Pleus’ vacant seat.
Justice LaBarga granted Pleus’ petition for Crist to fill the vacancy, as Pleus has continued to serve as a judge since his official retirement.
“The plain language of (the Florida Constitution) mandates that the governor … make an appointment from the certified list within 60 days to fill the judicial vacancy.
“Significantly,” LaBarga continued, “we note the absence of any language granting the governor authority to reject the JNC’s certified list of nominees.”