TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Federal Judge who will decide which ballots are counted and which are not is getting high marks from those who know him, despite ruling against the state in multiple elections cases.
Federal Judge Mark Walker was recommended by both U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, appointed by President Obama, and confirmed on a 94-0 vote.
He’s made headlines with pointed opinions, ordering the state to give voters a chance to cure spoiled mail ballots, ordered polling places on college campuses, extended voter registration following a hurricane and declared the clemency process unconstitutional.
“He established the facts about how bad that system was," said former FSU President Sandy D'Alemberte.
Walker got undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Florida.
For eight years he was Steve Andrews' law partner.
"His father worked at Winn Dixie. I think he retired from Winn Dixie. He’s just a great guy," said Andrews.
Former State Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Grimes calls Walker the best clerk he ever had.
“Whatever the law requires, he’s going to rule that way," said Grimes.
When Walker ran to be a state court judge, no one opposed him.
Pete Dunbar is supervising a dozen lawyers for the Republican Party. He says even if he doesn’t like Walker’s rulings, it's not the end of the road.
“There is a process that allows for an appeal of that decision, so I have confidence the judicial system will handle this appropriately," said Dunbar.
Walker could end up hearing as many as seven cases involving the election.
Walker finished first in his undergraduate class and third in his law school at the University of Florida.
He has been on the Federal bench since 2012.