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Integrity Florida: Fill Vacancies On Federal Bench

Carol Highsmith via Wikimedia Commons

There are four judicial vacancies in Florida’s federal courts, and each one has a nominee awaiting approval.  The group Integrity Florida wants the Senate to break the logjam.

There are two openings on the bench in Florida’s Middle District and one each in the Northern and Southern Districts.  Integrity Florida researcher Alan Stonecipher says operating shorthanded is difficult for the state’s courts when they deal with more than 24,000 cases a year.

“That’s a pretty heavy burden and it places them among the top most busy district courtships in the United States,” he says.

The federal judiciary defines three of the four openings as judicial emergencies based on caseload.  Three of the nominations have been pending since April of this year, but one—an emergency vacancy in the southern district—has been waiting for a hearing since February of 2015.  

UPDATE: since Integrity Florida completed its report, the number of judicial vacancies in Florida's federal courts has grown to five.

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.