ORLANDO, Fla. — The search to fill two Florida Supreme Court vacancies is down to nine candidates.
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- List of 9 candidates from a pool of 32 candidates
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The Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission certified a shortlist Thursday from a list of 32 candidates, after conducting interviews in Orlando two weeks ago. By state law, the JNC has the sole power to chose the final list of nominees, and the governor must choose from that list.
Gov. DeSantis will be filling two vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court. He will be replacing Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck, two justices he put on the bench last year who were then nominated by President Trump to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeal in Atlanta.
The shortlist includes four men and five women. Racially, five of the candidates are white, three are Hispanic, one is black.
Couriel is a Miami-based lawyer with Kobre & Kim. According to his application, his area of expertise is the "U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, money laundering, extradition and cross-border frauds involving financial products and services." Before this he worked as an assistant U.S. attorney. Couriel got his law degree from Harvard. He's a Republican who ran for the state legislature in 2016. He's an active member of the Federalist Society.
Francis is a circuit court judge in West Palm Beach. Before that she was appointed as a Miami-Dade county judge by former Gov. Rick Scott in 2017. Before that, she was an attorney for Shutts & Bowen in Miami, specializing with insurance companies on personal injury protection matters, along with commercial foreclosure litigation. She was born in Jamaica and got her law degree at Florida Coastal Law School. She's a member of the Federalist Society.
Gerber is a judge with the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach, and also served as a judge for the 15th Judicial Circuit. Before that he was a partner at Shutts & Bowen, and worked for former Rep. Connie Mack. He got his law degree at the University of Florida.
Grosshans serves as a judge on the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach. She was an assistant state attorney in Orlando before going into private practice and then becoming a judge. In private practice she specialized in family law, including divorce, custody cases, and adoptions. She got her law degree from the University of Mississippi. She is a member of the Federalist Society.
Lindsey serves as a judge for the Florida Third District Court of Appeal in Miami. She also served as circuit judge and a county judge, appointed by Gov. Scott and former Gov. Jeb Bush, respectively. She got her law degree at the University of Miami. She is a member of the Federalist Society.
Osterhaus is a judge for the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. Before that he was a solicitor general and deputy solicitor general for the Florida Attorney General's office, and an assistant counself in the Florida Dept. of Education. He got his law degree at the University of Virginia. He is a member of the Federalist Society.
Pedrosa is the United States executive director of the InterAmerican Development Bank in Washington. He was appointed to that position by President Trump. Before that he was an enforcement attorney for the Securities and Exchange Commission, and worked as an attorney gor Greenberg Traurig. He got his law degree at Harvard. He's a member of the Federalist Society.
Rowe is the chief judge-elect for the Florida First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. Before that she was the deputy chief of staff and special counsel to former Gov. Charlie Crist, and served in the Florida Attorney General's office. She also worked in private practice at Gray, Harris & Robinson. She got her law degree from Florida State University. She's a member of the Federalist Society.
Sasso serves as district judge for the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach. Before that she worked as deputy and assistant general counsel for Gov. Rick Scott, and then as a trial attorney for Sanabria, Llorente et al. She got her law degree from University of Florida. She's a member of the Federalist Society.
Spectrum News reporter Greg Angel contributed to this report.