In a victory for conservatives, Gov. Rick Scott appointed Judge C. Alan Lawson from the 5th District Court of Appeals this morning. Judge Lawson said that he will exercise judicial restraint at this morning’s announcement. In his interview with the Judicial Nominating Commission, he expressed a willingness to discard legal precedent in cases where it is wrong in regards to a constitutional matter. Judge Lawson will replace current liberal Justice E.C. Perry who is retiring due to the mandatory retirement age for Florida Supreme Court justices.
John Stemberger, President and General Counsel for the Florida Family Policy Council made the following statement:
“This the single most important decision Governor Rick Scott will have made in his political career and he could not have picked a more qualified, conservative judge anywhere in the state to serve on the Florida Supreme Court. I have known Alan Lawson for over 20 years and first interviewed him as a member of then Gov. Jeb Bush’s Judicial Nominating Commission when we recommended him to serve as a trial judge on the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Central Florida. He has a thoughtful and brilliant mind and understands the proper limited role of courts. Alan Lawson is also a man of deep faith; he has quietly served those less fortunate in many ways from foreign missions trips to local community service projects. He perfectly blends academic rigor with compassion for people and the issues they face ”
This is not the first time that Judge Lawson has applied for a seat on the Florida Supreme Court. In 2009, there was a widespread campaign by conservatives, led by Florida Family Policy Council, for then Gov. Charlie Crist to appoint him. Despite receiving tens of thousands of phone calls, emails, faxes, and letters from Floridians in support of Alan Lawson, Crist appointed Justice Perry to the bench. Perry was supported and endorsed by groups like Equality Florida, Planned Parenthood, and NAACP specifically in hopes that he would legislate from the bench and overturn conservative laws and policies, such as Florida’s prohibition on homosexual adoption.
In recent years, the liberal Supreme Court bench has struck down many laws enacted by conservatives in the Legislature as unconstitutional. While this appointment does not give conservatives a majority on the bench, it does bring more balance to the court with a 3-4 minority for conservatives.
If you would like more information on the appointment or Judge Lawson, the Miami Herald wrote an in-depth article.
ACTION ITEM: Please contact Gov. Scott to thank him for making this appointment. You can either call him at (850) 488-7146 or email him. It is very important that the Governor hears from you so that he will continue to make good decisions, such as this one.