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Governor appoints three new Tampa Bay judges

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday announced the appointment of Gregory G. Groger to the 6th Judicial Circuit Court in Pasco and Pinellas counties. Groger, 38, of Land O’Lakes, has served as an assistant state attorney for the circuit since 2003. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and his law degree from Stetson University College of Law. Groger fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Judge Walter L. Schafer, Jr. Scott also announced the appointments of Darren D. Farfante and…

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Legislation would require reporting on race disparities in criminal sentencing

in Statewide by

Sponsors of legislation requiring the state to produce a report each year on criminal sentencing disparities based on race said Monday that they don’t mean an attack on judges but need to know what the data show. “I’ve heard there’s been some consternation from some judges,” said Sen. Audrey Gibson, a Democrat from Jacksonville. “The bill is not about judges. It’s justice, and it’s about data. Nobody should fear data,” she said. “The data already exists. The bill simply asks…

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Florida Supreme Court seeks 24 more judgeships statewide

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Supreme Court is asking for more judges. The high court on Thursday formally asked the state Legislature for 24 new judgeships across the state. The court is asking for one new circuit judgeship in the central Florida judicial circuit covering Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter counties. The justices say the 5th Judicial Circuit needs an additional judge because caseloads are growing quickly in that region. They also certified the need for 23 new county judgeships in seven…

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Justices uphold limits on judges’ appeals for campaign cash

in Top Headlines by

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that states may limit candidates for elected state and local judgeships from making a personal appeal for campaign contributions. The justices’ 5-4 ruling means in 30 states that elect state and local judges, restrictions on judicial candidates and their campaign solicitations can remain in place. In all, 39 states hold elections for judges and some allow personal appeals. Chief Justice John Roberts said in his majority opinion that laws barring judicial candidates from personally asking…

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