About Barbara Lagoa – Governor DeSantis’s first Florida Supreme Court pick

About Barbara Lagoa – Governor DeSantis’s first Florida Supreme Court pick 

Bottom Line: It might just be my perception or wishful thinking, but it appears to me that people are more interested than ever before in the judicial process. With the high-profile vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court in recent years, along with many high profile decisions that impact every American being made by the high court, there’s a seeming growing interest in learning more generally. Antecedently I saw a greater interest in learning more in local and state judges up for election last fall, and there’s been regular interest in Florida’s three Supreme Court vacancies to be filled ever since the recounts ended. It’s great to see because all elections have consequences, and few are more profound than those that lead to these decisions. There’s a reasonable chance that however long Ron serves as governor, 4 or even 8 years, his greatest legacy will be these three decisions right now at the onset of his administration. Barbara Lagoa is the Governor’s first pick so what do we know about her? First, here’s a bit about her personal background: 

  • Cuban-American born and raised in Miami 
  • Graduate of FIU and Columbia University 
  • Married, mother of three  
  • Serves on the boards of the YWCA of Greater Miami, Kristi House and the Miami film society

And her professional background: 

  • Associate editor of the Columbia law review 
  • South Florida based attorney with a focus on criminal and civil law with interest in business litigation 
  • U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida 
  • Justice on the Third District Court of Appeals (appointed by Jeb Bush) 
  • Recommended by 86% of the members of the Florida Bar 
  • Retained by voters with 74% of the vote most recently 

And of course, people want to know about ideological considerations. By general accounts she’s labeled a conservative. Here’s what she’s most known for professionally. 

  • Served pro-bono as council for the American family of Elian Gonzalez 
  • Authored the majority opinion determining that damages for medical malpractice should be based on one’s pre-diagnosis life expectancy rather than one’s post malpractice life expectancy

Based on what I’ve reviewed of her record, it’s probably not fair to attempt to label her through traditional left – right political terms. She seems to be a libertarian-ish  pragmatist. What’s that mean? It seems as though she places priority on the individual over the collective and isn’t inclined to deviate from established legal precedent rather than a tendency towards activism.

 

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