TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida's next governor will get to pick three new justices to the Florida Supreme Court, the high court ruled Monday in a rebuke to Gov. Rick Scott.
- New SCOFLA justice vacancies will be filled by next governor
- Florida high court said Gov. Rick Scott exceeded his authority
- READ IT: Ruling by the Florida Supreme Court (.pdf)
Three justices appointed by the late Gov. Lawton Chiles will retire next January, the same day Scott leaves office.
Scott last month asked the state judicial nominating commission to start accepting applications, hoping he would be able to fill those vacancies on his last day.
But the Florida Supreme Court said Scott exceeded his authority by pushing to start the process. The Florida Constitution says nominations are supposed to be made 30 days from the occurrence of the vacancy, which for Justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince will happen between January 7 and January 8, 2019.
The governor is then supposed to make the appointments 60 days after the nominations are certified, according to the Florida Constitution.
"The governor who is elected in the November 2018 general election has the sole authority to fill the vacancies," the court ruled.
Scott had been sued by The League of Women Voters and Common Cause Florida.
This means that Rep. Ron DeSantis or Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum likely will shape the Florida Supreme Court and its ideology.
The court will hear oral arguments on when the judicial nomination commission can certify nominations on November 8 — two days after the general election.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.