DeSantis nominates Judge Barbara Lagoa to Florida Supreme Court

Ron DeSantis

- Gov. Ron DeSantis has chosen a female Cuban-American appellate judge as his first pick for the Florida Supreme Court.

Barbara Lagoa was born in Miami, Florida in 1967.

"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 people's representatives.

Justice Lagoa is a Cuban-American from Hialeah, Florida, where her parents instilled in her an appreciation of the freedoms enjoyed in the United States.

DeSantis' office said Lagoa will be the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Supreme Court. "Unlike the country my parents fled, we are a nation of laws, not of men".

"Our water and natural resources are the foundation of our economy and our way of life in Florida", said DeSantis, who has called himself a "Teddy Roosevelt conservationist".

DeSantis' predecessor, former Gov. Rick Scott is a multimillionaire and used his own plane for travel.

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Because of Lagoa's family's history, "she understands that, in Cuba, the rule of law doesn't mean anything", DeSantis said. Now, that's not going to be like the old state planes where the Cabinet and other people could do it. Though her side won the case, in an event that captured world attention, President Bill Clinton and U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno sent armed U.S. agents into the home, seizing the boy and ignoring the rule of law.

DeSantis also said during the campaign that he would "appoint solid "constitutionalists" to the state Supreme Court and I think that will make a big difference. The Constitution, not the judiciary, is supreme". "That's a game changer and that's why these appointments are so consequential", said Sayfie, who was an adviser to Gov. Jeb Bush.

"I know she will be a strong voice for years to come", Scott said in a statement. 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. From 1962 to 1974, it was a processing center for Cuban refugees seeking political asylum from Fidel Castro's regime. "And freedom is more secure because of it".

In her remarks, Lagoa, accompanied by her parents, husband and three daughters, left little doubt that she will fulfill DeSantis' expectations.

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. Lagoa, 51, worked at the Greenberg Traurig and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius law firms in Miami and is a former assistant US attorney in the Southern District of Florida. While a practicing lawyer, she was admitted to practice by the Florida Bar, the United States District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

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. Cantero and current Justice Jorge Labarga are Cuban-Americans.

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