Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

Judge Robert Luck, right, smiles and gives brief remarks after being selected to the Florida Supreme Court by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, standing next to his wife, Casey, left, inside the media center at Check Hillel Community School. (CARL JUSTE | Miami Herald)
Judge Robert Luck, right, smiles and gives brief remarks after being selected to the Florida Supreme Court by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, center, standing next to his wife, Casey, left, inside the media center at Check Hillel Community School. (CARL JUSTE | Miami Herald)
Published January 27
Updated January 27

Winner of the week 1The Federalist Society. The influential network of conservative lawyers has almost completed its transformation of Florida's Supreme Court into one that would make Antonin Scalia cheer. All the justices appointed by Gov. Ron Desantis are Federalist Society endorsed and allied, as is the governor himself.

Winner of the week 2: Ben Gibson, Jason Gonzalez, Daniel Nordby. A decade ago three young Federalist Society lawyers at a small Tallahassee law firm started working to get strict textualist judges appointed to Florida's courts. They took turns serving as general counsels to three governors, serving as chief advisors on the appointment of 292 of the 991 judges now serving in Florida. The three Republicans just reunited at the Shutts & Bowen law firm as Gov. DeSantis finished re-making the Supreme Court with three new, Federalist Society-endorsed Justices.

Winner of the week 3: Marco Rubio. We can't keep awarding winner of weeks to Gov. DeSantis, whose strong start and honeymoon was highlighted last week in a Mason-Dixon poll showing him with a remarkably strong net favorability rating of + 32 (compared to +4 for Sen. Rick Scott). So instead we'll give the nod to Sen. Rubio, who had a net favorability of +21. Mighty impressive for a guy blown out in the Florida presidential primary by Donald Trump.

Loser of the week
Mike Ertel. Imagine if Jeb Bush appointed you to the important job of Seminole County elections supervisor, and a few weeks later you had a opportunity to dress in costume. Wouldn't it be brilliant and hilarious as a new public official  to don blackface and dress as a Hurricane Katrina victim? Hahahahaha. Nobody laughed when the photo emerged 14 years later. The respected elections leader lost his job as Florida Secretary of State after only two weeks in that office.

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