The Florida Supreme Court is ordering Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to pick a new Supreme Court justice after nullifying his original appointment.
The Court ruled Friday that Judge Renatha Francis is constitutionally ineligible to serve because she hasn't been a member of the Florida Bar for at least 10 years. Francis was appointed in May but doesn't meet the 10-year-requirement until Sept. 24.
The decision comes after Democratic state Rep. Geraldine Thompson, who represents a large section of Orange County, filed a lawsuit saying DeSantis' appointment of Francis was not legal. Last month, the court ruled in favor of Thompson's claim, but it rejected her petition to have the Judicial Nominating Commission create a new list from an existing applicant pool and have the governor appoint another person from that list.
"There is no legal justification for us to require a replacement appointment from a new list of candidates, rather than from the one that is already before the Governor," the court wrote.
The court told Thompson to file a new petition, writing "the only legally appropriate and available remedy would be to require the Governor immediately to appoint a constitutionally eligible person from the JNC's existing certified list of nominees."
In the most recent ruling on Sept. 11, the court said the government must immediately appoint and commission a "constitutionally eligible nominee" from among the seven remaining candidates already certified by the JNC. The governor's deadline is noon on Sept. 14.
Francis would have been the first Caribbean-American to serve. She is from Jamaica and had been serving on the 15th Circuit Court.
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