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Columns

Florida Supreme Court: The Case for Carlos Muñiz

January 15, 2019 - 10:15am

In the 2016 presidential election, the United States Supreme Court appointments were front and center when Americans made up their minds and cast their votes. They understood that nothing less than freedom, the cause of liberty and the fate of our nation was at stake.

Likewise, in the recent gubernatorial election, the upcoming Florida Supreme Court vacancies weighed heavily on the minds of many Florida voters. 

The Florida Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission chose 11 highly qualified men and women to replace the three retiring justices.

In my opinion, Carlos Muñiz, 49, is the standout  nominee on that list, yet he has never been a judge.  On the surface, some may think that would be an issue. But history doesn't reflect that.

The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist had never been a judge when he was appointed to the highest court in the land. In fact, the majority of the chief justices on the U.S. Supreme Court had not been judges before they were appointed to the nation’s highest court. Nine, or slightly more than the 17 men who have held the position of chief justice, were appointed without prior judicial experience.

The late Chief Justice Raymond Ehrlich, from Jacksonville, had not been a judge when he was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court. 

Going back further in U.S. history,  Patrick Henry, a five-term governor, was offered the position of chief justice of the United States Supreme Court and had never been a judge. To President George Washington’s dismay, Henry turned down that position.

Muñiz is an intellectual with a sterling resume who would invigorate the court. He is a textualist and believes firmly in the rule of law. His entire career in public service has been adhering to the rule of law.

Carlos G. Muñiz
Carlos G. Muñiz

Philosophically, Muñiz is a conservative in the mold of Justice Clarence Thomas and his unassuming personality, integrity and humility are like Thomas as well. 

Muñiz attended the University of Virginia, where he graduated with high honors. He received his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School and was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

After graduating from law school, Muñiz served as a law clerk to two federal judges, one on the U. S. District Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the other for the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He was also the deputy general counsel for Gov. Jeb Bush and the chief deputy attorney general for Attorney General Pam Bondi. He currently is general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education.

Gov. Ron DeSantis stated in his inaugural speech that he would only appoint judges who would strictly uphold and defend the constitutions of the United States and the state of Florida.

DeSantis has appointed two outstanding judges and Muniz should be his third.  

Not only does Muñiz fill his requirement revering the Constitution; if appointed, the Florida Supreme Court could become a national role model for the rule of law.  

When a governor leaves office, his enduring legacy will be who he appointed to this court and how those choices affected the great state of Florida.

A state of 21 million people deserves the brightest legal thinkers who are most dedicated to the rule of law. Carlos Muñiz is a battle-tested leader who fits that description perfectly.

Nancy Peek McGowan of Jacksonville was the state chair of Women4DeSantis. She is a University of Florida alum with a degree in political science.  

Comments

The DeSantis "Peanut Gallery" SPEAKS ! (Doesn't necessarily mean it speaks with any validity..)

Carlos Muniz is a stand-out!

Outstanding nomination! Our new Governor has wasted no time in reviewing the credentials of those 11 candidates submitted for his consideration. DeSantis has orchestrated the equivalent of a Judicial Trifecta. Three learned minds who will serve our state well in the coming decades without judicial activism, finally!

Carlos Muniz is one of the smartest, conscientious, and professional people I've ever met or worked with in 40 years in the "democracy business". He'd be an awesome choice, and one that reflects the best in all of us.

The largest state of the union deserves respect, as the largest state, it holds a direct influence 1/3 of the country's economy revolves around the hundred-thousands of businesses that exist in the golden state. The state is responsible for delivering the majority of the U.S's tax revenue. That without the state, Republicans are aware of the consequential disasters it would have on the country. That being said, you can't force upon California conservative policies via Congress. California dumped 20+ Republicans in their state in 2018 midterm elections. It's why McCarthy stays in the House rather than trying to run local politics. They hate him in California.

Why is it that we can directly elect a governor, a state senator, a state representative, our county commissioners, our constitutional officers, our US Senators, our congressional representative, but we cannot directly elect the president? Something is wrong with the system where they trust us sufficiently to elect all of these persons, but not the president, whose decisions affect us.

Because the founders were brilliant people who recognized you must always balance the passions of mobs with the sanity of people widely disbursed across all interests of the nation, and not just the most populated cities. Hillary Clinton only won the Popular vote becasue of the overwhelming majorities of liberals in California and New York. No way the rest of us want to be goverend by people from states like these. Originally the founders set the election of Senators by the State Legislature. The 17th Amendment changed it to the popular vote. It is singularly more responsible for ills of the nation than any other event in our history.

Because the founders were brilliant people who recognized you must always balance the passions of mobs with the sanity of people widely disbursed across all interests of the nation, and not just the most populated cities. Hillary Clinton only won the Popular vote becasue of the overwhelming majorities of liberals in California and New York. No way the rest of us want to be goverend by people from states like these. Originally the founders set the election of Senators by the State Legislature. The 17th Amendment changed it to the popular vote. It is singularly more responsible for ills of the nation than any other event in our history.

Actually, the majority of the people (other than in states like California ) voted for anyone BUT Hilary Clinton because we knew that she considers herself ABOVE the law. I believe that someone with a conservative approach who will carefully weigh both sides of an issue, will consider the laws and established legal precedents and has documented legal excellence in the legal profession should be considered. However, if people wanted a highly qualified nominee for a position, they never would have voted in someone like Ms. Ocascio-Ortez. She made a claim that she is Bronx born and bred, and no one challenged this until after the election when it was brought out that she was born in the Bronx but left for an upper class area at the age of 2. She justifies her position by saying that she has family in the Bronx area. Seriously? She claims that she is a feminist and then lobbies for the election of a candidate who is a misoygnist simply because he embraces socialism. I think that the people of her New York City district must have lost their minds!

Your first sentence is absolutely hilarious!

"The majority of the people" actually "voted for" Hillary Clinton, just about 66,000,000 Clinton to 63,000,000 Trump. Trump the Chump is a minority president and is only the president because of the quirks of the anachronistic Electoral College. George W. Bush was also a minority president. The election of Ocasio-Cortez is singularly the business of the people in the specific congressional district in which she ran. Apparently those voters preferred her to her main Republican opponent, 78.2% to 13.6%. (The declared "Conservative" Republican in the race came in fourth and last with 1.6% of the vote.)

That is not correct. The majority voted for someone other than Hillary Clinton. While she received more votes than any other single candidate, she did not receive the majority of the vote and instead received only a plurality. She received 48.2% of the vote. 51.8% over the vote was for another candidate. Clinton received 65,844,610 votes, or 48.2% of the total vote. Trump received 62,979,636 votes, or 46.1% of the total vote. The remaining 5.7% of the vote went to other candidates, like minor party and and write-ins.

This was also true of her predator husband. If not for Ross Perot, he would have been banished back to the backwoods of history.

LOL! So true.

Yes, the American people do understand the importance of judicial appointments and that is why, at least in part, the majority of Americans who voted voted for the Democrat. While the issue of judicial appointments is clearly very important to both party faithfuls, let's not lose sight of which side the majority of voters chose. Having to make that appoint irritates me because either way is objectionable. I am personally appalled at the entire notion of conservative, liberal, moderate, constructionist, activist, Republican, Independent or Democrat to describe a jurist. I understand the role of precedent; strict construction; and all that stuff. Here is what I think most Americans want: A highly qualified nominee on the basis of education and experience; an even judicial or constitutional temperament giving weight to the founding intention of the constitution but also aware of the logic of evolving culture. I don't want anyone rigid on either side of any dividing line. I think most Americans feel that way as well

So, given you bent towards the judiciary giving weight to the "logic of evolving culture" you mean there is no law, just whim?

Right on! Your last three sentences say it all!

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