At first Senator Bill Nelson supported the nomination of state judge Allen Winsor to the federal district court bench. Nelson interviewed him, then with Senator Marco Rubio recommending Winsor to President Trump for appointment.
But then politics happened. Facing backlash from Democratic groups because of Winsor’s previous role as state solicitor general – where in 2016 – he defended in court a voter-approved amendment to the Florida Constitution banning same sex marriages. Winsor was later appointed to the state First District Court of Appeal, where he current serves.
Nelson gave no explanation for now opposing Judge Winsor’s nomination, instead placed blame on the state’s Judicial Nominating Commission, which evaluates candidates for judicial appointments. Senator Nelson said he changed his mind “because of the information brought up by the Senate Judiciary Committee…”
As expected Governor Scott’s campaign team blasted Nelson’s flip-flop.
“Bill Nelson is so partisan that a small group of out-of-state democrats can force him to vote against a Floridian that he interviewed, recommended and supported,” said Scott campaign press secretary Lauren Schenone. “Despite claiming to be independent, Bill Nelson’s own actions show that when democrats like party boss Chuck Schumer say ‘jump,’ Nelson’s only question is ‘how high?’”
Winsor was approved this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee by a party-line vote and his nomination now heads to the full Senate.