Ricky Polston to Take Over as Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Florida
Around the State
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Florida elected Ricky Polston, who had been with the court since being appointed to it by then-Gov. Charlie Crist back in 2008, by a unanimous vote to serve as chief justice.
Generally considered one of the more conservative members of the court, Polston replaces current Chief Justice Charles Canaday, a former Republican congressman whose two-year term comes to an end.
Polston, 56, came from the 1st District Court of Appeal and moved up to the state Supreme Court when then-Justice Kenneth Bell resigned. Born in Alabama, Polston studied law at Florida State University, where he also finished up his undergraduate work.
The justices usually elect the most senior member of the court who has never served as chief justice to the post -- a tradition followed with Polston's election. Polston will take over as the 55th chief justice of the Supreme Court of Florida on July 1. His tenure will end on June 30, 2014.
“I am deeply honored by my colleagues’ vote,” Polston said in a statement on Wednesday. “I commit myself to be a faithful steward of this public trust, recognizing that I am a servant to the people of Florida, to the Constitution, and to the laws of the land.”
With ties to Graceville, Polston becomes the second state chief justice to come from Jackson County since Benjamin S. Liddon led the Supreme Court of Florida during the last half of 1894. Polston also becomes the first chief justice from west of the Apalachicola River since Thomas West from Santa Rosa County led the court for most of 1925.
The incoming chief justice is married to Deborah Ehler Polston, a writer of children’s books and advocate for the young. She was appointed to the state Child Protection Task Force and was honored with a Florida Point of Light by Crist in 2008. The Polstons have 10 children -- including six brothers they adopted.
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