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Florida Family Council lobbies Crist to pick Canady

Gov. Charlie Crist is scheduled to interview the five candidates seeking to fill the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Miamian Raoul Cantera on Wednesday and the Religious Right has started the lobbying push.

In an email to supporters, Florida Family Action Council President John Stemberger urges members to email Crist immediately and "respectfully urge him to appoint Judge Charles Canady.'' Canady, 54, is a judge for the Second District Court of Appeal in Lakeland. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992 and was one of the Republican House floor managers in the Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton. He left Congress in 2001 after keeping a campaign promise to serve only eight years, and in 2002 he was appointed to the DCA by then-Gov.Jeb Bush.

"This appointment is critical to Florida values voters and to social conservatives concerned about life, marriage and family issues,'' Stemberger wrote to supporters. "We need judges who are not activists, but who respect and recognize their limited restrained role as an academic interpreter of law. We need judges who will strictly uphold the Constitution, and not legislate from the bench.''

In addition to Canady, Crist will interview Miami attorney Edward Guedes, 44, Judge Kevin Emas, 50, Miami, 11th Judicial Circuit, Judge Jorge Labarga, 55, West Palm Beach, 15th Judicial Circuit and Judge Vincent G. Torpy, Jr., 52, Daytona Beach, Fifth District Court of Appeal.

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Larry Spalding

Charles Canady has demonstrated as a legislator, a Congressman and an appellate judge that he is a right-wing ideologue on civil liberties and reproductive rights issues which is why he is receiving the support of the Florida Family Action Council.

Florida needs an independent judiciary. It needs judges with intellect, experience, judicial temperament and scholarship. It does not need ideologues from either the left or the right.

Governor Crist can and should do far better than Charles Canady. Perhaps as an alternative, Governor Crist should reject the entire slate offered by the JNC and request that they at least consider submitting the names of qualified women lawyers and judges for this most important position.

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