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Courts / Law

Judge Jamie Grosshans Nominated For Florida Supreme Court

Woman speaks at a podium. A man stands behind her, along with flags of the United States and Florida.
FLORIDA CHANNEL
Judge Jamie Grosshans speaks at a podium at the Capitol after Gov. Ron DeSantis nominated her to the Florida Supreme Court Monday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has nominated Jamie Grosshans to the Florida Supreme Court after the high court sided with a Democratic lawmaker and nullified the governor’s previous appointment.

Gov. Ron DeSantis nominated Central Florida Judge Jamie Grosshans for the Florida Supreme Court following a dispute over a previous appointee’s eligibility.

DeSantis announced the nomination Monday evening to comply with the state’s highest court, which issued a second order after he failed to meet a noon deadline.

The justices ruled Friday that DeSantis exceeded his authority by appointing a constitutionally ineligible judge to the high court and told him to pick another judge for the post by 5 p.m. Monday.

DeSantis originally chose Palm Beach County Judge Renatha Francis for the vacancy even though she hasn't been a member of the Florida Bar for the required 10 years.

Speaking in Tallahassee, DeSantis said Francis hadn't been treated very well during the process. However, he said he had talked to President Donald Trump, who is now considering making Francis a federal judge for South Florida.

“The president was very receptive to that. All I can say is that that is actively under consideration, but she has my full support to be a federal judge here in the state of Florida, and hopefully we'll get some news on that in the very near future," said DeSantis.

Francis, who was born in Jamaica, was the only Black finalist on the list of nine candidates chosen by the Judicial Nominating Commission to fill two vacancies. John Couriel was appointed to the court by DeSantis in May.

State Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Windemere, filed a lawsuit earlier this year saying DeSantis violated the Constitution by appointing an ineligible candidate.

Francis removed her name from consideration shortly after the court's ruling Friday.

Grosshans, 41, was appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal in 2018 by former Gov. Rick Scott. Before that, she served as an Orange County Court Judge in the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida, where she presided over criminal and civil matters.

“As an appeals court judge, a successful lawyer in private practice and a working mother of three, I am confident that Judge Grosshans’ breadth of experience in the legal profession and in life will make her a successful Supreme Court Justice, and I look forward to her assuming the bench on our state’s highest court,” DeSantis said in a press release.

She had also founded her own law firm where she focused on family law and criminal defense. She graduated from the University of Mississippi School of Law. During law school, she clerked for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.