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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Jun. 12, 201803:11 PM EST

4th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission is back in business

Appellate court reinstates stay revoked by circuit judge.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The day after a circuit judge in Tallahassee reinstated an order he issued last week to prevent Gov. Rick Scott from accepting nominations or appointing a judge to replace retiring 4th Judicial Circuit Judge Robert Foster, the 1st District Court of Appeal on Tuesday reinstated the stay granted to Scott when he appealed the original order.

That means the 4th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission, which abruptly adjourned Monday morning in the middle of interviewing an applicant for Foster’s seat when notified of the circuit judge’s reinstatement order, is cleared to reconvene.

“I feel like we’re in a nasty game of rope-a-dope,” said Patrick Kilbane, the commission chair.

After interviewing five of the 18 applicants on Monday, the commission will meet at 9 a.m. June 20 at the Duval County Courthouse to finish interviewing the sixth applicant and conduct interviews of the remaining 12 attorneys who are seeking appointment to Foster’s seat on the bench.

There will be no further interruption of the nominating process based on court orders, said attorney Paul Renner, who represents the commission.

“We are back on,” Renner said Tuesday. “The stay will be in place until the DCA makes a decision.”

Scott has directed the commission to provide to his office the names of six nominees by June 22. He then has up to 60 days to select an appointee from among the nominees or request additional nominees from the commission.


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