Rewind: Profiling potential Supreme Court nominee Barbara Lagoa

Profiling potential Supreme Court nominee Barbara Lagoa

Bottom Line: Miami’s own Barbara Lagoa has had a rapid rise in the judicial system since the election of Governor DeSantis. As one of his first actions as governor, Ron DeSantis nominated her to Florida’s Supreme Court. Less than a year later, President Trump tabbed her to fill a vacancy on the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals. At the time she was originally nominated for Florida’s Supreme Court, I provided this overview of her background and career:

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

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

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, she appears to be a pragmatist. She places priority on the individual over the collective and isn’t inclined to deviate from established legal precedent. Notably she was confirmed to the 11th US Circuit Court by an 80-15 vote last November in the Senate. Many Senators on the left would be placed in a situation in which they’d have to defend why they’d vote for her for a powerful federal court but oppose her for the high court.

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