THE ISSUE:

DeSantis pressures judicial advisory panel to add candidate.

OUR OPINION:

Governor engaged in grossly unethical behavior.


Recently, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office took the unusual step of instructing a judicial advisory panel to add Tesha Ballou, originally deemed unqualified, to a list of candidates for a vacant state judicial post.

This is an appalling precedent to set and severely undermines the public’s trust in DeSantis.

Here’s why:

Our country’s government was built on a system of checks and balances so one leg of government would not become too powerful. DeSantis, who eventually appointed Ballou to a circuit judgeship in Brevard County, has taken the dangerous step of tipping the balance in his favor.

Additionally, DeSantis has set a precedent that he can be politically influenced by the rich and powerful. We expect the governor to work for all citizens, yet we are not naive enough to know that is happening. Nevertheless, to blatantly flaunt such disregard for established norms and ethical behavior is not what voters expect from their governor.

DeSantis appointment antics cast a pall over the judiciary. Will residents of Brevard County feel they have been cheated? Remember, Ballou was not selected for the short list for a reason. Four other appointees deemed more qualified were passed over due to political chicanery. This judicial circuit and Ballou, for right or wrong, now have a cloud of doubt hanging over their heads. It is unfair to the judges and to the residents.

DeSantis has made several sound decisions since taking office, but all it takes is one blunder to throw all the good will he’s fostered out the window.

In our opinion, the sash has been thrown open.

DeSantis should step away from the window.

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(4) comments

CitrusCo Citizen

This is nothing new--all of DeSantis decisions are not sound. He has ensured that Florida taxpayers will be forced to pay for priviate religious schools instead of public schools for ALL students. He has ensured that the environment of the Nature Coast will be seriously damaged by a tollroad to nowhere that rural people willl have to pay for while they lose their properties, farms, ranches and the springs and rivers be polluted. He has made sure that when they object and take their causes of unfair eminent domain to court, they will have to pay all legal fees. HIs true colors are flying high now, and it isn't pretty. This is only the beginning of his unsound governing.

GMEN

The JAC gives RECOMMENDATIONS, not mandates. If Judge Ballou is so terrible, then post the evidence that makes her unqualified. It is more likely that the un-elected JAC just wanted to 'stack the deck' by ensuring that conservatives don't get appointed, no matter who the governor is. DeSantis gets to make the decision, not the JAC - if you don't like a governor who takes responsibilities, elect a Democrat. Note: in our politically correct world, the acronym for the Judicial Advisory Panel are somehow considered 'profanity', so I have refer to the by the initials for an imaginary 'Judicial Advisory COMMITTEE' to get my comment pats the censors.

Miuke Nelson

Stack the deck. But it's ok if DeSantis stacks with conservatives, What incredible double standards conservatives have. On Friday, Politico reported that Alan Landman, a Republican attorney from Brevard County who chaired the state’s 18th Judicial Circuit’s Judicial Nominating Commission, has resigned in protest of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ move to strong arm his commission into approving his preferred candidate. Drain that swamp.

CitrusCo Citizen

Wait, if we don't drain the swamp and allow the swamp creatures to multiply, maybe they'll start eating each other! They'll self-destruct! That's what's happening in the White House. Risky, but maybe worth the gamble. Or maybe not--it's probably safer to follow Willie Nelson's advice: "If you don't like who's in there, vote 'em out!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssVO5qnyQss

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