Florida Battle Over Crist’s Supreme Court Appointment and Abortion Continues
by Steven Ertelt
February 19, 2009
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — 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.
Both pro-life and pro-abortion groups are trying to bend the ear of the governor in their favor.
Earlier this month, a panel that chooses finalists for the high court named four attorneys for the short list for the latest opening.
They include two circuit judges in Sanford: James E.C. Perry and Debra Steinberg Nelson. Alan Lawson, currently on the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach, and Orlando lawyer Dan Gerber are also on the list. Seven attorneys applied for the opening.
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 Perry or Judge Steinberg.
Florida Family Action, the legislative arm of the Florida Family Policy Council, says abortion advocates are engaging in a strong campaign against Lawson because they know he is the candidate supported by pro-life groups.
John Stemberger, president of the pro-life group, told LifeNews.com that Lawson is eminently qualified.
"Having served on the Judicial Nominating Commission in the Ninth Circuit for the past eight years, I have reviewed and personally interviewed hundreds of judicial candidates," he said. "Based upon my experiences, Alan Lawson is without question, one of the most qualified and experienced judge candidates I have ever reviewed."
"Judge Lawson has the kind of even handed temperament, high minded ethics and intellectual acumen that makes for an ideal jurist," Stemberger added.
"He not only has a philosophy of judicial restraint and respect for the rule of law, but in his personal life he is a faithful husband, a devoted father, and an active member of his church and community," he continued.
Florida Right to Life told LifeNews.com earlier in the month that it is backing Lawson.
"This final appointment is absolutely critical to issues that Florida values voters and social conservatives are concerned about," Lynda Bell, the group’s president, said.
"We need judges who are not activists, but who respect and recognize their limited restrained role as an academic interpreter of law. We need judges who will strictly uphold the Constitution, and not legislate from the bench," Bell added.
"Therefore, we need to let Governor Crist know that we support Judge Alan Lawson for the current vacancy on the Florida Supreme Court," Bell concluded.
LifeNews.com has also learned that attorney Dan Gerber is strongly pro-life as well and has impressive credentials when it comes to opposing abortion.
Wells is stepping down due to mandatory age retirement of the Florida Constitution.
ACTION: Please e-mail Governor Crist about the Supreme Court appointment. Send your e-mail or faxed letter to the governor at [email protected], fax (850) 487-0801, or call (850) 488-7146.
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.