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Supreme Court candidate interviews will be live streamed

The Florida Channel plans to live stream the interviews of candidates for an opening on the Florida Supreme Court.

The interviews are open to the public, but they will be held in Orlando next Monday, instead of Tallahassee.

They’ll be at the offices of the GrayRobinson law firm, where Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission chair Jason Unger is a shareholder.

The commission previously voted to interview all 11 applicants for the vacancy on the court created by the December retirement of Justice James E.C. Perry,

The interview schedule is:

Noon-12:30 p.m. — Wendy W. Berger, a judge on the 5th District Court of Appeal.
12:30-1 p.m.— Alice L. Blackwell, a circuit judge in Orange County.
1-1:30 p.m. — Roberta J. Bodnar, an assistant U.S. attorney in Ocala.
1:30-1:45 p.m. — break.
1:45-2:15 p.m. — Dan Gerber, an Orlando civil-trial defense attorney.
2:15-2:45 p.m. — Sylvia Grunor, a Central Florida trial lawyer.
2:45-3:15 p.m. — Brad King, state attorney of the 5th Judicial Circuit.
3:15-3:30 p.m. — break
3:30-4 p.m.— C. Alan Lawson, the chief judge of the 5th District Court of Appeal.
4-4:30 — Larry Metz, a Republican state representative from Yalaha.
4:30-5 p.m.  Michelle T. Morley, a circuit judge in Sumter County.
5-5:15 p.m. — break.
5:15-5:45 p.m. — Michael J. Rudisill, a circuit judge in Seminole County.
5:45-6:15 p.m. — Patricia L. Strowbridge, a circuit judge in Osceola County.

The nominating panel will forward six names by Dec. 13 to Gov. Rick Scott, who will then name Perry’s replacement. This is Scott’s first chance to pick a state Supreme Court justice.

In Florida, justices are picked through a “merit selection” process, beginning with a nonpartisan, nine-member commission that reviews and evaluates applicants.

Because Perry represented the state’s 5th appellate district, applicants must be from that area, which includes Brevard, Citrus, Flagler, Hernando, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, and Volusia counties.

The commission also invited written comment on any of the applicants. Comments should be sent via email to Unger at jason.unger@gray-robinson.com.

Written By

Jim Rosica is the Tallahassee-based Senior Editor for Florida Politics. He previously was the Tampa Tribune’s statehouse reporter. Before that, he covered three legislative sessions in Florida for The Associated Press. Jim graduated from law school in 2009 after spending nearly a decade covering courts for the Tallahassee Democrat, including reporting on the 2000 presidential recount. He can be reached at jim@floridapolitics.com.

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