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Florida Supreme Court orders Gov. DeSantis to pick new justice

The appointee will replace Judge Renatha Francis
Posted at 10:58 AM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 10:58:58-04

Governor Ron DeSantis has to pick a new Supreme Court justice because his initial pick is constitutionally ineligible.

A court order issued Friday by the Florida Supreme Court ordered the governor to appoint another judge by Monday, the Associated Press reported. The original choice, Judge Renatha Francis, would have been the first Caribbean-American justice to serve on the court, a point that DeSantis has repeated since the initial appointment in May.

The constitution says that a justice must be a member of the Florida Bar for at least 10 years. Francis was four months shy of this requirement in May, which DeSantis pointed out. He also noted that she wouldn't be sworn in until September 24, the day she'd meet the requirement.

The appointment was challenged by Democratic state Representative Geraldine Thompson, who is a prominent Black state lawmaker.