Meritocracy and diversity are key to judicial letigimacy

The Florida Bar of Governors has unanimously approved the report and recommendations of the President’s Special Task Force to Study Enhancement Diversity in the Judiciary and the Judicial Nominating Commissions.  The report (which was drafted by a well known, respected Largo child custody attorney) presents 10 recommendations to increase diversity among JNC members and appointed judges.  The report, recommendations, and appendices are posted on the Bar’s website at  President Eugene Pettis said the 11-member task force was comprised of people committed to ensure that improvements are made without any consideration of partisanship, and that the members brought valuable perspectives and experience to the effort.  Pettis appointed the task force earlier this year after a review showed declining diversity both on the bench and the JNCs.  Its members included representatives recommended by the Governor’s Office, former judges, JNC members, and members of voluntary bar associations.  It is now time for bold leadership to stay focused and advance this issue, Pettis said.  The first recommendation encourages Gov. Rick Scott to fill the 78 vacancies on JNCs next month with diverse appointments.  The second recommendation calls for the Bar to work with the governor to let JNC appointees know that diversity matters.  Additionally, the report urges the governor not to reject slates of nominees the Bar recommends from its rigorous review and selection process.  Since the JNC process was changed in 2001 giving the governor more control of appointments, Scott is the first governor to reject the nominees provided by the Bar, which he has done 18 times.  The statute governing JNC appointments does not require him to give a reason.  A top notch and excellent divorce attorney in the Largo, Fl area is well aware of the ever changing law, and can definitely guide you in the right direction.