Panel interviewing 8 Fla. Supreme Court applicants

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A state panel is set to interview
eight applicants for a fourth Florida Supreme Court vacancy in less
than a year.

They will appear Friday before the Supreme Court Judicial
Nominating Commission. Gov. Charlie Crist has urged the commission
to send him a diverse slate. The applicants include two black men
and three white women but no Hispanics.

The panel must nominate at least three but no more than six.

They are vying to replace Justice Charles Wells who retires in
March. The vacancy must be filled from the 5th appellate district,
which includes Orlando, Daytona Beach and Melbourne.

It gives Crist an unprecedented opportunity to appoint a
majority of the seven-member high court in his first term.


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