Congrats to the finalists. Now it's up to Nelson/Rubio and Obama for the nomination.
Update -- Apparently, the Herald sat through the interviews and posted this editorial about the appointment process:
The three South Florida finalists advancing for consideration for a coveted opening on the federal bench in the Southern District are to be congratulated. They’ve earned it.On Thursday, they, along with other aspirants to the prestigious, lifetime appointment, sat on the hot seat in a large conference room on the 14th floor of the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. U.S. Courthouse in downtown Miami.A member of the Miami Herald Editorial Board was present as the 20-plus members of the Florida Judicial Nominating Commission quizzed and grilled the 15 candidates for 25 minutes each, the final phase of a long process that began in July for the privilege of having their names recommended to Florida’s two U.S. senators.In this race, voters did not pick the winner; the blue-ribbon panel made up of local legal eagles and community leaders had the honor — and somehow that seemed right and how, perhaps, it should be done for all judicial races.The different selection processes for state and federal judges — the first are generally elected, the latter selected — highlighted the anemic slate of judicial candidates and bitter races with plenty of mudslinging that played out in Miami-Dade and Broward last month. Judicial decorum was missing among a number of candidates.Many of the eight contested circuit and county races in Miami-Dade were marked by the emergence of political committees supporting judicial candidates. Rival committees sent out biting attack mailers, unsavory in a judicial race, and scary — these are nonpartisan races in which candidates can only promise to follow the law. The most bitter contest pitted former Miami-Dade School Board member Renier Diaz de la Portilla against Veronica Diaz, an assistant attorney with the city of Miami. She eventually won.Race and ethnicity also came into play, as has happened in the past. For example, the supporters of incumbent Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Rodney “Rod” Smith, who is black, accused unsuccessful challenger Christian Carrazana of running with the hope his last name appealed to voters in the heavily Hispanic county, a charge that Mr. Carrazana denied.None of that took place Thursday in the conference room where committee members drilled down to gauge the smarts, temperament and dedication of each candidate.