Will it be the female appellate court judge who says she has been "rarely reversed,'' or the male appellate judge who has lobbied the Legislature for court funding or will it be the lawyer in private practice who has represented industry giants like Publix and Orkin and worked to keep David Duke off the 1992 ballot?
Either Wendy Berger, C. Alan Lawson and Dan Gerber will be standing next to Gov. Rick Scott in his Capitol office at 8 a.m. Friday for a rare Tallahassee press conference to announce the governor's first -- and potentially only -- pick to the Florida Supreme Court. The new judge will be replacing Justice James E.C. Perry who is retiring at the end of the month because he has reached the mandatory retirement age.
The candidates all have two things in common: they are all self-professed conservatives, who abide by the "originalist" judicial philosophy that adheres to the notion that interpretation of law should be based on the original meeting of the text of the statute or the Constitution at the time its enacted, and they have each been heavily promoted by members of the Florida chapter of the Federalist Society, a conservative libertarian lawyers group many of whose members serve as the governors’ appointees to the Judicial Nominating Commission.
The JNC interviewed 11 candidates to recommend the three names (who were widely expected to be the pre-determined list) to the governor.
For more on the selection process and who the candidates are, read our story here.
Photo by Scott Keeler, Tampa Bay Times.