Judge also orders qualified candidate Jacksonville attorney David Trotti restored to ballot.
A judge Wednesday ordered Gov. Rick Scott to suspend the judicial nominating process in the 4th Judicial Circuit to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Circuit Judge Robert Foster.
The order, by 2nd Judicial Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, also instructs Secretary of State Ken Detzner to restore to the ballot for the Group 6 seat in the August 28 primary election Jacksonville attorney David Trotti, who sought injunctive relief in May after becoming the only candidate to qualify in the election.
The 4th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission is scheduled to interview 18 candidates for the seat Monday at the Duval County Courthouse.
“We have appealed this ruling,” said Ashley Cook, Scott’s press secretary.
Foster, who is not eligible for re-election because of the mandatory retirement age for judges, tendered his resignation to Scott in April.
The vacancy between the effective date of his resignation, Dec. 31, and the end of his term in office, Jan. 7, is four business days.
After Scott convened the nominating commission on April 23, Trotti submitted the required documentation and paid the necessary filing fee during the statutory qualifying period to be a candidate for the judicial seat in Group 6 of the 4th Judicial Circuit.
He was listed as a candidate on the Florida Division of Elections website, but later was removed when the department was notified by the governor’s office that the position would be filled by appointment.
In his order granting preliminary injunction, Dodson stated that to deny the request would deprive the public of “their Constitutional right to elect Judge Foster’s successor.”