Gov. Ron DeSantis Appoints Barbara Lagoa To Florida's Supreme Court

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With the first of his three picks for the Florida Supreme Court, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday chose a female Cuban-American appellate judge to become the state's newest justice.

According to Lagoa's court profile, while a practicing lawyer, she was admitted to practice by the Florida Bar, the U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

DeSantis, who just took office on Tuesday, said Lagoa, 51, has an impeccable judicial background and that her Cuban-American upbringing gives her extra appreciation for the rule of law.

Ron DeSantis announced an executive order calling for $2.5 billion over the next four years to go toward Everglades restoration - a $1 billion increase - and the establishment of a blue-green algae task force.

Lagoa, who grew up in the heavily Cuban-American suburb of Hialeah, attended Florida International University and Columbia University law school where she was associate editor of the Columbia Law Review.

During the meeting, he asked for all the members on South Florida Water Management District's board to resign.

Justices Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince also have mandatorily retired, leaving DeSantis two more seats to fill.

"We want them to understand the effects that the blue-green algae has had on the coastal communities and to do everything in their power - which I don't think they've done so far- to mitigate that", DeSantis said.


DeSantis' order also establishes a Blue-Green Algae Task Force, which would work with a task force that Scott asked the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to reactivate previous year. As an Assistant United States Attorney, she tried numerous criminal jury trials, including drug conspiracies and Hobbs Act violations.

Also, she was one of three judges who allowed a Miami judge to close a courtroom to the public for a key hearing in a high-profile murder case. She received her B.A. cum laude in 1989 from Florida International University, where she majored in English and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She now is a member of the Eugene P. Spellman and William Hoeveler Chapter of the American Inns of Court, the Junior League of Miami, and Fairchild Tropical Gardens. He promised to appoint state state Supreme Court justices in the mold of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

"I am particularly mindful of the fact that under our constitutional system it is for the legislature and not the courts to make the law".

"Florida has never had a Florida Supreme Court with a majority of justices who believe in a limited role for the judiciary". "In the world of judicial appointments, Barbara Lagoa is a home run".

Maria D. Garcia, president of the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA), congratulated Lagoa in a letter after the Miami announcement. She joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2003 before Bush appointed her to the bench.

"Ever since the early 1960s, with the revolution in Cuba, there was an influx of Hispanics to Miami, and they've been here for two to three generations, so that's been a major influence on politics", Borg said. By law, one of the selections for the state Supreme Court must be from either Miami-Dade or Monroe counties.

A total of 6 of the 11 nominees are from South Florida.

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