Eugene Pettis
Eugene Pettis (Melanie Bell)

Not satisfied with six names for two judicial openings, Gov. Rick Scott asked the Broward Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission to provide an additional six names.

Florida Bar president Eugene Pettis of Fort Lauderdale said Friday he wants the same thing.

The commission submitted one list of six candidates to fill two county court positions. By law, the JNC is required to send no less than three and no more than six nominees for each vacancy.

The Broward JNC met the minimum requirement.

“The Florida Bar has been strongly committed this year to encouraging diverse lawyers to participate in the merit selection process, and we received a record number of diverse applicants for the JNC appointments,” Pettis said in a statement.

“Fulfilling the governor’s request may increase the diversity in the nominee pool and provide the governor with more opportunities to increase the diversity on the Broward County bench,” he said.

The six names submitted to the governor included one African-American male and two women. The commission is not obligated to comply with the governor’s request.

A recent Bar poll found a heated difference of opinion among JNC members across the state about their role in promoting diversity.

“I believe our JNCs are the first line in multi-level efforts to ensure that Florida’s judiciary is representative of our state,” Pettis said. “The governor is ready to appoint diverse representative judges,”