TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis nominated Judge Jamie Grosshans on Monday for the Florida Supreme Court following a dispute with the state's highest court over a previous appointee’s eligibility.
DeSantis announced the nomination Monday evening to comply with the Supreme Court's deadline. The court ruled Friday that DeSantis exceeded his authority by appointing a constitutionally ineligible judge to the high court and told him to pick another judge for the post. They initially gave him until noon Monday to do so, but then pushed it back to 5 p.m.
Grosshans was appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal in 2018. Before that, she served as an Orange County Court Judge in the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida, where she presided over criminal and civil matters.
The Republican governor said Monday that his previous nominee, Renatha Francis, had withdrawn from consideration on Friday.
DeSantis appointed Francis in May even though she didn't meet a requirement of being a member of the Florida Bar for at least 10 years. She will meet that requirement on Sept. 24, but the court said DeSantis is required to fill a vacancy on the court within 60 days and he has far exceeded that deadline. Francis was supposed to fill the vacancy of former Justice Robert Luck, who resigned in January.
Florida governors are required to fill vacancies from a list provided to them by the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission. Friday’s ruling said that DeSantis must pick a new nominee from the original list of seven names, given to him earlier this year.
Francis would have been the first Caribbean-American justice to serve on the court. She was born in Jamaica and moved to the United States as an adult. She currently serves as a circuit judge in Palm Beach County.
Brendan Farrington, The Associated Press