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Supreme Court JNC meeting gets ugly

The Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission has spent the last 45 minutes trying to decide whether to reconvene and consider submitting more finalists to Gov. Charlie Crist.

This debate breaks down pretty much along the same lines as the JNC's composition does. Gov. Charlie Crist gets to appoint five of the nine JNC members. And the other four are nominated by the Florida Bar.

So you guessed, the four nominated by the Florida Bar are arguing forcefully that they shouldn't reconvene. And most of the other five, many of whom are Gov. Charlie Crist supporters, are arguing they should reconvene and coughh up more names.

Arturo Alvarez, nominated by the Bar: "Our constitutional and moral obligations as commissioners ended when we certified those names to him….We did our job now it’s his turn to do his. . .Nothing new has occurred . ..to do anything else, would be historically detrimental to the judicial nominating process. We’re hear to restrain the governor's power of appointment."

Kathleen Shanahan, appointed solely by Gov. Crist: "I guess I agree there was a change in circumstances…if I was standing in the line of Publix and there were changes made to the list, I think others would agree that would constitute a change in circumstances."

JNC chair Bob Hackleman said he supports returning to deliberations and giving more names, but he just said was concerned that their rules may not allow them to reconvene. So he just made a motion to "diverge" from any rules that they may already be breaking, so they can go into secret deliberations.

The motion carried 5-4.

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