January 9, 2019
GOVERNOR DESANTIS MAKES FIRST OF
THREE HISTORIC APPOINTMENTS TO
THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT
Judge Barbara Lagoa of Miami to become the first
Cuban-American Woman on the Florida Supreme Court.
(Tallahassee, FL) Today, as his first very first act in office, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Judge Barbara Lagoa, the first of three appointments which are expected to the Florida Supreme Court. Judge Lagoa currently sits on the Third District Court of Appeals (DCA) in Miami. The Third DCA is an appeals court between the trial court and the state supreme court.
Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger issued the following statement today regarding this appointment:
“Governor Ron DeSantis has made a simply outstanding choice in Barbara Lagoa for the Florida Supreme Court. She is smart, thoughtful, and has a conservative judicial philosophy that appreciates the limited role of the court. She is also deeply committed to her faith, her family and her community. In the world of judicial appointments, Barbara Lagoa is a home run. Governor DeSantis should be highly commended for a very thorough vetting process and a commitment to appoint such highly principled Justices as Barbara Lagoa.”
Judge Lagoa is the first of three appointments that Governor DeSantis will make to replace three of the court’s most liberal justices who termed out for mandatory retirement at age 70* yesterday on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. The retiring justices are Barbara Pariente (Lawton Chiles Appointment in 1997); Fred Lewis (Lawton Chiles Appointment in 1998); and Peggy Quince (Initially a Lawton Chiles appointee whom Jeb Bush also agreed to appoint on his first day of office in 1998).
During his inaugural address on Tuesday, Governor DeSantis forthrightly stated, “I say to you: judicial activism ends, right here and right now. I‘ll only appoint judges who understand the proper role of the courts is to apply the law and Constitution as written, not to legislate from the bench. The Constitution, not the judiciary, is supreme.” Today’s appointment of Barbara Lagoa is evidence of this promise given Lagoa’s judicial philosophy.
Personal and Professional Bio on Judge Barbara Lagoa:
Judge Lagoa’s parents fled Cuba and she was born in Miami, Florida. She has served on the Third District Court of Appeals in Miami for the past twelve years since being appointed to that court by Governor Jeb Bush in 2006. Of all 59 applicants that applied to the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, Lagoa had the most appellate experience. Over her 12 years on the appellate bench, Judge Lagoa has heard more than 11,000 cases and issued more than 470 written opinions. Judge Lagoa was also the first Cuban American woman to serve on the Third District Court of Appeals and is fluent in both Spanish and English. She received her Juris Doctorate from Columbia University. Her civil practice focused on general and complex commercial litigation, particularly the areas of employment discrimination, business torts, securities litigation, construction litigation, and insurance coverage disputes. She also served as Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of Florida. In this office, she worked in the Civil, Major Crimes and Appellate Sections. As an Assistant United States Attorney, she tried numerous criminal jury trials, including drug conspiracies and Hobbs Act violations.
Judge Lagoa has been a member of the Federalist Society for several years. She has also been actively involved with Kristi House, an organization that provides treatment, advocacy, and coordination of services for all child victims of abuse and their families, as well as education and prevention services to end child abuse and sex trafficking. She is married to attorney Paul C. Huck, Jr. and is the mother of three children. The Lagoa family are faithful Catholics and attend the Church of the Epiphany in Miami.
Judge Lagoa’s 144-page application to the Judicial Nominating Commission can be found here:
Judge Lagoa’s interview with the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission can be watched on video from 2:15 to 28:30 here:https://thefloridachannel.org/
* NOTE: Florida voters passed Amendment 6 on November 6, 2018, which increased the mandatory retirement age of Florida judges from 70 to 75. FFPC President John Stemberger, as a member of the 2018 Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), co-sponsored the proposal which became Amendment 6. This proposal/amendment ensured that the effective date of Amendment 6 took place on July 1, 2019, preventing it from affecting the judicial transitions in January 2019.
For more information contact:
# # #
Florida Family Policy Council
4853 S. Orange Ave, Suite C, Orlando, FL 32806
[email protected] * Phone: 407-251-5130