Black Firsts, June 2008: Peggy Quince
Hon. Peggy Quince, Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court
On Friday, June 27, Peggy Quince was sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. The first African American to serve in this post, Quince also became the first Black woman to head any branch of Florida government.
A report on the Legal Newsline website highlights the 60 year-old’s ability to overcome adversity, noting that she was a “product of segregated schools and a single-parent home.” The story goes on to describe her education and early career:
Quince graduated from Howard University and attended law school at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law.
She began her legal career in Washington, D.C., as a hearing officer with the Rental Accommodations Office, administering that city’s new rent control law. In 1977, she entered private practice in Norfolk, Va.
After moving to Tampa some 30 years ago, she became an assistant state attorney general before being named to the 2nd District Court of Appeal.
In 1998, she was named to the Supreme Court by outgoing Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles and Republican Gov.-elect Jeb Bush. — Chris Rizo for LegalNewsline.com
Her profile on floridasupremecourt.com provides additional information on her educational history:
Justice Quince graduated in 1970 from Howard University with a B.S. Degree in Zoology; she received her J.D. Degree from the Catholic University of America in 1975. While a law student she was active in Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and the Black American Law Students Association; she received an award for her work with Catholic’s Neighborhood Legal Services Clinic. In 1999, she received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the Stetson University College of Law. In 2004, she received an honorary doctor of laws degree from St. Thomas University School of Law.
Florida Supreme Court Justices are appointed for a term of two years. After serving, Quince is likely to follow in the footsteps of her predecessor and return to regular service on the court.
Interestingly, jebbushforpresident.net portrays Justice Quince as excessively liberal, and cites Jeb Bush’s appointment of this judge as one of his greatest errors. You can read their assessment of Justice Quince’s credentials at THIS LINK.
Posted by Ajuan Mance