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C. Alan Lawson

Progressive groups sue over Rick Scott’s judicial appointment power

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When Gov. Rick Scott appointed a conservative jurist to the state’s Supreme Court in December, he made clear he wasn’t done. “I will appoint three more justices the morning I finish my term,” he said, referring to the mandatory retirement in early 2019 of the court’s liberal-leaning triumvirate of Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy A. Quince and R. Fred Lewis. Now, two progressive organizations are saying to Scott: Prove you can. They say he can’t. The League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVF)…

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Supreme Court tweaks its ‘senior justice’ rule after controversy

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The Florida Supreme Court no longer will allow its justices to keep working indefinitely on open cases after they leave the bench, according to a new rule released Thursday. After Justice James E.C. Perry officially retired on Dec. 30, Chief Justice Jorge Labarga allowed him to finish work on opinions as a “senior justice,” following decades of court practice. But critics, including Republican House Speaker Richard Corcoran, cried foul. They complained Perry was displacing his successor, C. Alan Lawson, who started work the next…

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Winning elections best way to achieve favorable judiciary

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If you are one of those who are sick and tired of judges ruling against your policy preferences, the Florida House of Representatives is offering an elixir for what ails you. Judges are in the news a lot lately. From the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, to the drama in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, many Americans are paying attention to black robes. Florida is now adding to the conversation on…

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Blogger still irate over Justice James E.C. Perry’s continued presence at Supreme Court

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Conservative blogger Ed Whelan isn’t giving up his position that retired Florida Supreme Court Justice James E.C. Perry continuing to work on pending cases “appears to be in plain violation of Florida law.” Whelan wrote on National Review Online last week that Perry was wrongly “displac(ing)” Justice C. Alan Lawson, the newest conservative jurist on the state’s high court. In the court’s defense, spokesman Craig Waters explained that the court’s “longstanding practice for many decades has been that retiring justices remain in senior status to…

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Is Rick Scott co-opting Florida’s judicial nominating process?

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Christian D. Searcy doesn’t consider himself “the most political person” but suggests you don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind is blowing on Florida’s judicial nominating panels. Searcy, president of the Searcy, Denney, Scarola, Barnhart & Shipley personal-injury law firm, reacted to Tuesday’s news about the state’s Judicial Nominating Commissions (JNCs). Gov. Rick Scott had summarily rejected all suggestions from The Florida Bar to fill vacancies in several JNCs, the panels that recommend lawyers for judgeships. Searcy once was on…

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Closing statement: Florida Supreme Court justice steps down

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Florida Supreme Court Justice James E.C. Perry has reached his final day in office. Perry is stepping down Friday because he reached the mandatory retirement age for justices. Perry was appointed by then-Gov. Charlie Crist to the court in 2009. He was the fourth black justice appointed to the court. During his tenure, he was part of a group of justices that has issued rulings that angered the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott. Perry last week issued a…

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Rick Scott picks C. Alan Lawson for Supreme Court

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Conservative appellate judge C. Alan Lawson will become the next Florida Supreme Court justice, Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday morning. Lawson, who will replace retiring Justice James E.C. Perry, is chief judge of the state’s 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach. Perry’s retirement is effective Dec. 30; Lawson’s first day is the 31st. “He’s got a 20-year track record, he’s been a public servant, he clearly believes in following the rule of law,” Scott said, standing next to Lawson – his first ever Supreme…

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