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Federal Court vs. State Court

November 16, 2000

The Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals both will have roles in resolving the controversy over Florida's presidential election. The state court, rejecting arguments by Republicans, ruled Thursday that ballot recounts may continue. The federal court, meanwhile, agreed to hear Republican arguments to halt the recounts. A look at the two courts:


* Florida's Supreme Court

Almost all of the court's current justices were appointed by the late Gov. Lawton Chiles, a Democrat who preceded Gov. Jeb Bush. Bush is a brother of Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush. Florida's justices serve six-year terms and must stand for retention by voters.



Chief Justice Charles T. Wells

* Appointed by Chiles in 1994.

* Has served as chief justice since July.

* Spent most of his career as a private attorney in Orlando.


Justice Leander J. Shaw Jr.

* Appointed by Gov. Bob Graham in 1983.

* Served as chief justice from 1990 to 1992.

* Former assistant professor of law at Florida A&M University.


Justice Harry Lee Anstead

* Appointed by Chiles in 1994.

* Spent 13 years as a trial and appellate lawyer. Elected to the 4th District Court of Appeal in 1976 and served there until his appointment to the Supreme Court.


Justice Barbara J. Pariente

* Appointed by Chiles in 1997.

* Spent 18 years in private practice.

* Married to a judge on the 4th District Court of Appeal, on which she also served before his appointment.


Justice R. Fred Lewis

* Appointed to the Supreme Court by Chiles in 1998.

* After serving as an Army lawyer, specialized in civil trial and appellate litigation.


Justice Peggy A. Quince

* Chiles and Gov.-elect Jeb Bush appointed her to the Supreme Court in 1998.

* She is the first black woman to sit on the court.



Justice Major B. Harding

* Appointed by Chiles in 1991.

* Former circuit court judge.

* Served as chief justice before Wells.


* U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

Based in Atlanta, the 11th Circuit hears federal appeals for Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Its 12 judges have been nominated almost evenly by Republican and Democratic presidents. Four judges received judicial appointments from former President Bush, father of Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush.



Nominated to the federal bench by Republican presidents:

* Stanley F. Birch Jr., 55 (Bush)

* Ed Carnes, 50 (Bush)

* Emmett Ripley Cox, 65 (Reagan)

* Joel F. Dubina, 53 (Reagan and Bush)

* J. L. Edmondson, 53 (Reagan)

* Gerald B. Tjoflat, 70 (Nixon, Ford)



Nominated by Democratic presidents:

* Chief Judge R. Lanier Anderson III, 64 (Carter)

* Rosemary Barkett, 61 (Clinton)

* Frank M. Hull, 51 (Clinton)

* Charles R. Wilson, 46 (Clinton)



Nominated by presidents of both parties:

* Susan Harrell Black, 57 (to district court by Carter, to circuit court by Bush)

* Stanley Marcus, 54 (to district court by Reagan, to circuit court by Clinton)


Sources: Supreme Court of Florida Web site; The American Bench, Federal Judicial Center.

Compiled by MASSIE RITSCH/Los Angeles Times

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