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Crist makes it official: Perry on Court

Gov. Charlie Crist named Circuit Judge James Perry of Sanford to the state Supreme Court this morning, making him the fourth black justice to serve on the court.

Perry, a Democrat, was supported by civil rights leaders who favored his background growing up poor in rural North Carolina. But conservative interest groups had favored others, notably appellate judge Alan Lawson, and the Republican Crist dashed their hopes of adding another conservative to the seven-member court.

Like Crist, Perry brushed aside questions about his philosophy on the bench. Crist said he didn't make the decision "with an eye toward politics"

"You know, what does activist mean? That's another term they use to try to piegon hole people. In my analysis of the law, it seems as if those that call people activist are those people that don't rule for them. And those that rule against them -- call them activist," Perry said outside the Governor's Mansion.

-- David DeCamp, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau