This weekend Politico Florida reported on the forced resignation of Alan Landman, chair of Florida’s 18th Circuit’s Judicial Nominating Commission. This resignation occurred after Gov. Ron DeSantis, in an unprecedented move, required the commission to select his handpicked nominee for a judgeship. In response, Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo issued the following statement on behalf of the Florida Access to Justice Project:
“When politicians are picking their voters instead of the other way around, they call it gerrymandering. So, what do you call it when a politician picks the judge for his nominating commission to nominate? I’ll tell you what you don’t call it and that’s judicial independence.
“To have a governor not just pick the nominating commissioners but to now pick the judges for them to nominate makes a mockery of our so-called merit based selection system. At this point you might as well dispense with nominating commissions altogether along with any illusion of judicial independence.
“This power grab by Gov. DeSantis is a threat to the fundamental separation of powers. You can’t have a governor telling a nominating commission what judges to nominate. Left unchecked, this would set a dangerous precedent.”
About the Florida Access to Justice Project
The Florida Access to Justice Project envisions a judiciary reflective of our diverse state and free from the undue influence of special interest money and partisan interference, with access to justice for all.