Jared Smith, a Florida judge who lost his Hillsborough County circuit court seat following a controversial abortion ruling was one of the three justices that Gov. Ron DeSantis named to the new 6th District Court of Appeal by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Jared Smith is joining Joshua Mize and Keith White in their appointment to the court of appeal by the governor. In January, Smith had denied the request of a 17-year-old Tump high school junior who had been looking to get an abortion without parental consent. The judge at the time had said that she did not meet the intellectual standards set for her to be able to make this type of decision.
The teen had been requesting that the state requirement for parental notification and consent be waived in order for her to gain access to an abortion. This is something that judges are in a position to do but only when there is enough evidence to suggest that the person is “sufficiently mature.”
Smith had questioned the teen’s “overall intelligence,” which he considered to be less than average as the girl had claimed her grades were B’s despite the fact that her GPA was only 2.0.
In February the appeals court overturned Smith’s decision and the minor was allowed to get an abortion. Progressives, who have been vocal about their displeasure at the U.S. Supreme Court for overturning Roe v. Wade, targeted Smith in the August election. As a result, the judge lost the election by 3.7 points.
DeSantis on Tuesday announced the appointment of the judge. This took place less than a week after the Florida Supreme Court rejected a challenge over the eligibility of some of the appellate court candidates. The complaint had said that two candidates, with Smith being one of them, are not eligible for the position as they live outside the district’s jurisdiction.