ORLANDO, Fla. — A special committee met Tuesday in Orlando to select nominees for the Florida Supreme Court, potentially reshaping the political outlook for the state's highest court for decades.
On Tuesday that committee narrowed the dozens of potential candidates down to just 11.
- 3 Florida Supreme Court justices set to retire
- They are: Barbara Pariente, Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince
- 60 applicants have been interviewed this month
- RELATED STORY: Special Commission to Narrow List of Florida Supreme Court Nominees
The commission deliberated at the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority executive offices Tuesday to select nominees. They have interviewed nearly 60 applicants this month.
In a press release, the commission said they recommended and certified the following nominees for the Florida Supreme Court vacancies:
- John Daniel Couriel
- Jonathon D. Gerber
- Jamie Rutland Grosshans
- Jeffrey Kuntz
- Bruce Kyle
- Barbara Lagoa
- Robert J. Luck
- Carlos Genaro Muñiz
- Timothy D. Osterhaus
- Samuel J. Salario Jr.
- Anuraag Singhal
Of the seven current justices, three are forced to retire come January.
Ultimately, it will be up to Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis to decide who replaces justices Barbara Pariente, Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince.
Those three make up most of the 4-3 liberal majority on the court.
DeSantis will be able to reshape the court to a conservative viewpoint.
"I will be somebody who will appoint justices to the state Supreme Court who understand the proper role of the court is to apply the law and constitution as it is actually written, not to legislate from the bench," DeSantis said during the campaign.
Though unlike much of Florida’s Republican-leaning political landscape, the state’s highest court leans more Democratic.
“Recently the court has tended to make rulings that have agree more with Democrats than Republicans. We’ve seen rulings regarding redistricting and abortion fall to the left side of the political spectrum,” said political analyst Frank Torres.
The Florida Supreme Court picks could be one of DeSantis' first decisions when he is sworn in as governor on January 8.
Who the governor-elect chooses could also have major long-term political implications for the Florida and potentially the country.
“We just got over a big elections controversy where Florida was in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons,” Torres said. “So these judges are going to come in with a certain amount of heat on them, especially regarding elections and how Florida will play out in 2020.”
Spectrum News was told the proceedings are closed to the public.