South Florida's Federal Bench to Be Reshaped by Trump

By William Vogeler, Esq. on December 08, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

President Trump will reshape the court in the South District of Florida -- and that none too soon, according to some observers.

The Miami Herald says the "unprecedented" number of vacancies gives the President five seats to fill on a federal bench of 13, not including 10 senior judges in South Florida. The newspaper says the high number is rare.

Meanwhile, another report recently named Florida the No. 1 Judicial Hellhole in the country. The confirmation hearings should be interesting....

State v. Federal

To be fair, the American Tort Reform Foundation singled out Florida's state courts. The ATR foundation said the state's Supreme Court is the biggest judicial hellhole in the nation all by itself.

However, seven of the potential nominees are state court judges. That means a lot could change in Florida's litigation landscape in the coming weeks.

The federal finalists include nine men and one woman; three of the candidates are Cuban-American, one is Indian-American and one is black. Not everyone is pleased.

"The bench should reflect that diversity as well as diversity of gender, race and ethnicity," one Miami lawyer told the Herald on conditions of anonymity. "There also needs to be diversity of legal experience before taking the bench."

And The Nominees Are...

The finalists -- selected by the Federal Judicial Nominating Committee from 45 applicants -- are:

Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin Greenberg; former federal prosecutors Roy Altman and Melissa Visconti; Miami-Dade circuit judges Antonio Arzola, Peter Lopez, Rodolfo Ruiz, Rodney Smith and John Thornton; and Broward circuit judges David Haimes and Raag Singhal.

Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson will interview them and make at least five recommendations to the President.

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