Monday, 22 July, 2019

Gov. DeSantis names 1st Hispanic woman to Florida Supreme Court

Environmentalists are “encouraged” by Gov. DeSantis’ quick action on water quality plan Environmentalists are “encouraged” by Gov. DeSantis’ quick action on water quality plan by John Lucas | Jan 10 2019
Sandy Nunez | 13 January, 2019, 22:38

Justice Lagoa graduated from Florida International University with honors in 1989 and from Columbia University School of Law in 1992, where she served as an editor to the prestigious Columbia Law Review.

"I share the governor's concern that in recent years the power of the judicial branch has extended beyond its limited constitutional responsibility, in many cases eroding the authority of the legislative branch", Galvano said. "It is the role of judges to apply, not to alter, the work of the peoples' representatives", Lagoa said at a Miami news conference with DeSantis. "Unlike the country my parents fled, we are a nation of laws, not of men".

DeSantis' office said Lagoa will be the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Before her appointment, she worked for three years as an assistant USA attorney in the Southern District of Florida. "And so her backdrop understanding that I think has really made her appreciate the importance of the rule of law".

Florida Senate Democratic Leader Audrey Gibson from Jacksonville said she's concerned with the lack of details in DeSantis' new directive.

The Florida Supreme Court is "tasked with the protections of the people's liberties under law", Lagoa said.

During his inaugural address Tuesday, DeSantis spoke about putting an end to judicial activism.

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DeSantis' Supreme Court appointments, starting on his second day in office, could ultimately be one of the most consequential moves of his governorship. "In our great country and our great state we are governed by the rule of law", Lagoa said. I believe democracy is at its best when each branch of government exercises both authority and restraint at the appropriate time. Three justices reached mandatory retirement as DeSantis took office, giving him an unusual opportunity to put a major imprint on the state Supreme Court.

"His order calls for the securing of $2.5 billion over the next four years to invest in Everglades restoration and protecting our water resources, but there is no identification of where that money will come from", said Sen. "It is my pleasure and my privilege to appoint Barbara Lagoa to the Florida Supreme Court with full confidence she will serve our state with the utmost integrity".

Stemberger praised Lagoa for her membership in the Federalist Society.

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 a year ago. That concept was certainly at the heart of comments we heard from the governor yesterday, and echoed again this morning with the appointment of Justice Lagoa.

This article has been updated to reflect that Lagoa is the state's first female Cuban-American justice. The overrepresentation is in part because one of the open seats had to be filled with a nominee who lives in the Third appellate district, which includes Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.

"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. She joined the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2003 before Bush appointed her to the bench.