Florida Supreme Court Justice Lawson to retire

Justice Alan Lawson (cropped, courtesy photo) (Florida Supreme Court)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Supreme Court Justice Alan Lawson announced plans to retire Friday, which gives Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis the opportunity to have appointed four of the seven justices.

Lawson's retirement will be effective Aug. 31, well ahead of DeSantis' November reelection bid. Lawson was appointed by former governor and current Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Scott six years ago.

“The highest honor I have enjoyed in my career is my service on the Florida Supreme Court," Lawson said in a statement released by the court. “To those who I serve with now, I can only say that leaving you, this great institution and our court family is the most emotionally difficult decision of my life."

He said he and his wife Julie plan to spend his retirement "prioritizing family, health and fitness, spiritual growth and development, friends, the outdoor sports that we enjoy, and charitable work in the United States and abroad.”

DeSantis appointed current Justices Carlos Muniz, John Couriel and Jamie Grosshans.

“I have every hope that you will further strengthen Florida’s justice system as you attentively and thoughtfully appoint my appointment. Godspeed as you initiate that process,” Lawson said in a letter to DeSantis.