Friday, February 20, 2009

Abortion defining debate over Crist's 4th Supreme pick

LifeNews (ea):

The battle over persuading Governor Charlie Crist to appoint a certain person as the replacement for a the open seat on the Florida Supreme Court continues. There is a vacancy created by the resignation of the central Florida seat previously held by Justice Charles Wells.

.... A coalition of pro-life groups want Crist to pick Judge Alan Lawson for the vacancy, while abortion advocates, led by Planned Parenthood, are lobbying for either Judge [James] Perry or Judge Debra Steinberg Nelson.

Charlie Crist is distrusted among some grassroots, social conservatives outside of Florida, a reputation mostly undeserved. His first two Supreme Court nominations were pro-life conservatives, and he opposes gay adoption.

But last month, he appointed a third justice to the Florida Supreme Court, one that could have tipped the balance to the conservative side. After months of left-wing warnings against conservative judge Frank Jiminez, Governor Crist backed away and picked Jorge Labarga, a relative unknown who admitted to

"A good judge, in my opinion, is one who is all over the place. I'm all over the place."

Conservatives weren't happy campers -- National Review lamented, Red State railed in an action alert, and Human Events pulled out the RINO lable. And at the time, we noted:

Unfortunately, Crist bowed to the pressures of the Left and appointed a judge of questionable temperament and uncertain judicial philosophy. This was a chance for Crist to shift the court's balance of power, and anytime a conservative fails to push in that direction, it sends a powerful symbol to the party's base -- you can't count on me for judges. And if there's one thing the conservative base wants, it's conservative judges.

Now Crist has his 4th appointment to make. The Bradenton Herald speaks of its historic nature:

The latest vacancy will give Crist an unprecedented opportunity to appoint a majority of the Supreme Court in his first term. It'll also be the first time a majority has been appointed solely by a Republican governor in the 32 years since Florida stopped electing justices.