Commentary: Diversity needed in Broward County courts

This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.

In Broward County, minority judges are the minority. There are just 12 Hispanic or black circuit judges in Broward among a sea of male, white judges. In January, that number drops to 11 because one Hispanic judge lost his election bid.

Broward minority lawyers see the problem as twofold: Getting governors to appoint more minority judges and then ensuring that they can withstand election challenges. As to the former, Gov. Bush had an admirable record on judicial diversity. He named the first Hispanic justice, Raoul Cantero, to the state Supreme Court. And he was conscientious in appointing women and minorities to circuit and county courts.

But so far, Gov. Charlie Crist has had a tin ear on judicial diversity. In his first two Supreme Court appointments, the governor tapped two conservative white men. One replaced Justice Cantero. Mr. Crist missed two good opportunities to appoint qualified Hispanic, black or female justices. This is a huge disappointment.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Miami Herald.