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Courts / Law

Additional Supreme Court Candidate Named

Supreme Court Justices seated for group photo.
Front (l-r): Justice Ricky Polston, Chief Justice Charles T. Canady, Justice Jorge Labarga. Back row (l-r): Justice Robert J. Luck (appointed to 11th Circuit), Justice Alan Lawson, Justice Barbara Lagoa (appointed to 11th Circuit), Justice Carlos G. Muniz

The number of candidates for two seats on the Florida Supreme Court was updated to 32 on Thursday, as an initial list did not include an applicant who had submitted her information by a Christmas Eve deadline.

Judge Kimberly Bonner of the 12th Judicial Circuit, which hears cases in DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota counties, was added to the list of candidates who will be considered by the Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission.

“Judge Bonner’s application was timely submitted to the commission by email but was initially overlooked for technological reasons,” commission Chairman Daniel Nordby said in an email.

Candidates faced a 6 p.m. Tuesday deadline to file applications for the seats, which opened when former justices Robert Luck and Barbara Lagoa were appointed by President Donald Trump to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

An initial list of the candidates showed 31 applicants, with most currently serving as state appellate or circuit judges. The Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission will review the applications, interview candidates and submit the names of finalists to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who will select the replacements for Luck and Lagoa.

Because of the current makeup of the court, one of DeSantis’ selections will have to be a resident of the state’s 3rd Appellate District, which is made up of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.