Gov. DeSantis appoints Cuban-American judge Barbara Lagoa to Florida Supreme Court

In his first pick for the Florida Supreme Court, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday appointed Barbara Lagoa  — a Cuban-American judge who is the first Hispanic woman in history to serve on the state’s high court.

She replaces Justice R. Fred Lewis, one of three liberal-leaning justices who retired from the Florida Supreme Court.

“First appointed to the Third District Court of Appeals by Governor Jeb Bush in 2006, Justice Lagoa was the first Cuban American woman to serve on the Third District Court of Appeals. As an appellate court judge, she has more experience than any of the other nominees put forward by the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission,” according to a news release from the governor’s office.

Her background, according to the news release states: “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. Justice Lagoa worked at numerous prominent law firms in Miami, including Greenberg Traurig and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.”

In addition, “In 2003, Barbara joined the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida in Miami as an Assistant United States Attorney, where she worked until her appointment to the bench in 2006. Over her 12 years on the appellate bench, Justice Lagoa has heard more than 11,000 cases and issued more than 470 written opinions.”

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.


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