JNC changes made in Senate despite 'grave concerns'

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The Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday approved a measure (SB 2170) to exclude the Florida Bar from the Judicial Nominating Commission selection process, a proposal the Senate sponsor said was a high House priority that needed to stay in play, reports the News Service of Florida. ?his bill in its current form is a good conversation starter,?said Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami. The bill would transfer the Bar? participation to the attorney general? office. The bill also calls for all commission members to be terminated and new members be appointed by the newly comprised panel. Currently, the Bar recommends a slate of nominees from which the governor must choose four out of nine appointments. Backers of the current system say it provides a buffer to strictly partisan appointments to the panels. ?t provides an even hand in the decision making process,?said Sen. David Simmons, R- Maitland. The reorganization is a priority of House Speaker Dean Cannon. A similar House measure (HB 7101) would give the governor sole discretion in appoint members to a seven-member board. That bill was approved by the House and is in messages.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.