By Susan Hardee Steger
May 14, 2018 2:38 p.m.
Nassau County’s Chief Judge Robert M. Foster announced he is stepping down from the bench December 31, 2018. Foster informed Florida Governor Rick Scott of his plans setting in motion the Judicial Nominating Committee’s (JNC) application and interview process to help determine his replacement.
The Fourth Circuit JNC alerted interested candidates that the applications deadline is May 23. According to Judge Foster, the date scheduled for JNC interviews will be June 11. The names of the top judicial candidates recommended by the JNC will be forwarded to Governor Scott who will then determine Foster’s replacement.
In 2015, the Robert M. Foster Justice Center, a judicial complex in Yulee, was dedicated in Judge Foster’s honor.
Although there is movement at the state level to raise the mandatory retirement age of judges, the Florida Constitution requires that judges resign once they reach 70 years of age. Foster considers his resignation, “retirement.”
Judge Foster’s resignation letter to Governor Scott dated April 2, follows:
“It has been a great honor to serve the people of Florida as Circuit Judge for over thirty years. An even greater honor has been to serve the citizens of Nassau County as their administrative judge for over twenty years. Having reached what the late and great former Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Raymond Ehrlich, called “constitutional senility,” I tender my resignation. My last day in office will be Monday, December 31, 2018.
Many thanks to you for your support of Florida’s judiciary and sincere appreciation to the citizens of the Fourth Judicial Circuit for their support over the past three decades.”