Florida Governor Charlie Crist Rejects Most Qualified Supreme Court Nominee Endorsed by PBA, Law Enforcement, NRA, Right to Life and other Pro-Life / Pro-Family Groups

Instead Appoints Judge Endorsed by Planned Parenthood and Homosexual Activists

(Tallahassee, FL) Today, Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist announced the appointment of Judge James E.C. Perry of Sanford and rejected Judge Alan Lawson for the Florida Supreme Court.  Governor Crist received an estimated 25-30,000 e-mails, faxes, phone calls and letters in support of Lawson from the people of Florida on this fourth and final appointment to the Florida Supreme Court.  Judge James Perry was heavily supported by Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States; Equality Florida, the leading homosexual activist group in Florida (and the leading opponents against Amendment 2, the Florida Marriage Amendment); the NAACP; and several other left leaning groups. 

In contrast, Judge Alan Lawson was supported by the Florida Police Benevolent Association, law enforcement officials, the National Rifle Association, United Sportsman of Florida, Florida Right to Life, Florida Family Action and dozens of other pro-life and pro-family groups around the state and across the country.

Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger released the following statement: “The Governor’s decision today is both stunning and profoundly disappointing.  He missed a real opportunity not only to appoint the most qualified candidate, but also to bring the court back into ideological balance.  Instead, he made an appointment rooted in politics and one which will entrench the Florida High Court back into a 5-2 left leaning majority for at least the next decade.  The People’s Governor received a record breaking number of communications from tens of thousands of Floridians asking him to appoint Lawson, who was clearly the most qualified candidate.  The Governor was apparently completely unmoved by this  unprecedented and historical show of support.”

This appointment was being watched by state and national groups across the country and was considered by many political analysts to be a “career defining” decision for Governor Crist.  Crist, who has national political aspirations, is currently considering a run to replace U.S. Senator Mel Martinez and some believe he even aspires to become a future President of the United States. 

William March of the Tampa Tribune wrote an insightful and hard hitting article last week about the political implications of this decision for the Governor which can be read here.

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