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Florida Circuit Judge Terry Lewis, no stranger to controversial cases

(CNN) -- Florida Circuit Judge Terry Lewis, at the center of the crucial recount of the state's votes for president, is a Democratic appointee whose past rulings have put him at odds with the state's Republican leadership.

Appointed by Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles in 1998, Lewis is known for his so-called laid-back style. He has presided over several high-profile cases, including a ruling against enforcement of a law that required physicians to notify the parents of their minor patients who seek abortions.

That law was signed by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a Republican and brother to GOP presidential candidate and Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

Before serving as Leon County circuit judge, Lewis was elected a county judge in 1988

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Lewis, 48, received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Florida State University, and is a native of Live Oak, Florida.

In addition to his judicial role, Lewis is a published novelist. Ironically, in a state where several judges have recused themselves from hearing various court cases related to the Florida recount, Lewis' novel is titled "Conflict of Interest."

CNN National Correspondent Mike Boettcher contributed to this report.


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Tuesday, November 14, 2000

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