UPDATE: Judge Francis has withdrawn her name from consideration to become the next Justice on the Florida Supreme Court
We like nothing better than when a conservative court issues a conservative order that bites a conservative in their maskless butt.
The Florida Supreme Court did that Friday when, invoking the ghost of Scalia past, it ordered our mask shaming governor to appointment a new Justice to the Court by Monday High Noon. A showdown at the OK Coral this is not. But still, it has the makings of some fun. Suppose for a second the Governor nominates a Judge who can serve for two months before mandatory retirement? Just a thought as to all the shenanigans that we may be in for. Nothing better than a Constitutional Crisis Weekend.
Here are some highlights from the order:
"The constitution’s ten-year Bar membership requirement and sixty-day appointment deadline are bright-line textual mandates that impose rules rather than standards and prioritize certainty over discretion. To some, enforcing rules like these might seem needlessly formalistic when the result is to preclude the appointment of an otherwise qualified candidate. But “formalism,” as Justice Scalia observed, “is what makes a government a government of laws and not of men.”
In other words, "here is your Scalia textualism, now choke on it."
The Governor thought he was being sneaky when his counsel, in their latest argument wrote that DeSantis didn't Appoint Judge Francis to the Court...he just announced his Intention to appoint her when she was eligible.
The Court didn't buy what the Governor was peddling, dismissing the linguistic slight of hand in a snickering footnote:
"We note the inconsistency with the Governor’s assertion, in response to the initial petition in this case, that “Governor DeSantis completed his legal duty by appointing Judge Francis … to the Florida Supreme Court on May 26, 2020."
All over the State robed readers who want to live in Tallahassee are making their plans, and checking their phones twice, waiting for DeSantis to be naughty or nice. Someone is going to get the call "Hey, how do you feel about being my second choice?"
Meanwhile Judge Francis needs to call the realtor and see if she can get her deposit back on that apartment in Tallahassee.