A woman of many firsts, Carole Taylor is leaving after 22 years on the appeals court bench.
WEST PALM BEACH - Ground-breaking jurist Carole Y. Taylor on Wednesday announced she will step down March 31 from her 22-year post on the 4th District Court of Appeal.
Taylor in 1998 became the first African-American woman appointed to the West Palm Beach-based appeals court. Three years earlier, when Gov. Lawton Chiles tapped her to become a Broward County Circuit judge, she was the first black woman to serve on that bench.
In her resignation letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, the 68-year-old jurist expressed her gratitude for the high honor and privilege of serving in the Florida judiciary. She was most recently on the ballot in 2018, where she easily won a merit retention vote.
A local judicial nominating commission will soon begin soliciting applications from lawyers and judges interested in replacing her on the appeals court. It serves Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to correct an error in the headline. Retired appeals court Judge Matthew Stevenson was the first black appointed to the 4th District Court of Appeal. Judge Carole Y. Taylor was the first black woman to serve on the court.