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Gov. DeSantis Appoints Appellate Judges for South and North Florida

In an ongoing effort to reshape the state’s judiciary, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday filled openings on appeals courts in North and South Florida.

DeSantis chose Circuit Judge Robert Long Jr. for a seat on the 1st District Court of Appeal, which hears cases from across the northern part of the state.

Long, who will fill a vacancy that was created by the retirement of appeals court Judge James Wolf, has been a judge for the past four years in the 2nd Judicial Circuit, which includes Tallahassee and surrounding areas.

Closer to home, the governor also named Circuit Judge Edward Artau to a seat on the 4th District Court of Appeal, which hears cases from much of Southeast Florida.

Artau, who fills a spot created by the retirement of appeals-court Judge Carole Taylor, has been a Palm Beach County circuit judge since 2014 and is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center.

For the last few months, Artau has handled juvenile cases but presided over civil disputes before that. The 56-year-old Boca Raton resident was working as general counsel for the South Florida Water Management District when former Governor-turned-Senator Rick Scott appointed him to the bench. He was then re-elected without opposition in 2016.

Before being appointed to the bench, he served as a precinct chairman for the local Republican Party and also worked for the election of George W. Bush.

Additionally, Artau worked as counsel for the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office under Arthur Anderson.

The announcements came just a few weeks after DeSantis also named John Couriel and Renatha Francis to the Florida Supreme Court.