DeSantis appoints education attorney Carlos Muniz to Florida Supreme Court

US Department of Education general counsel once represented FSU in rape case

Gov. Ron DeSantis announces that Carlos Muniz is his final appointment to the Florida Supreme Court, Jan. 22, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis has made his third and final Florida Supreme Court appointment.

DeSantis announced Tuesday morning that he has appointed Carlos Muniz, who is general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education.

"I wanted somebody with a top-flight intellect, and with Carlos, we have found that justice," DeSantis said.

Muniz served as deputy attorney general and chief of staff to former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and general counsel for former Gov. Jeb Bush.

"When you ask them about Carlos, the praise is effusive," DeSantis said.

Muniz is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale University, where he attended law school.

"It was a great privilege to work for Attorney General Pam Bondi and then for (Department of Education) Secretary Betsy DeVos -- strong, brave, principled leaders who've done so much for our state and our country," Muniz said.

Muniz also thanked President Donald Trump, who appointed him to his position with the Department of Education in 2017.

"The path that led me to this day really began 18 years ago when Jeb Bush and (Chief Justice) Charles Canady gave me the opportunity to move to Florida and work in the governor's legal office," Muniz said, fighting back tears. "I came because I believed in their vision and I wanted to be part of their team. Like so many others who moved here from other parts of the country, I grew to love the great state of Florida and our community here in Tallahassee, where I met my wife and where our three children were born."

Muniz made headlines for representing Florida State University in a lawsuit brought by a student who accused Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Jameis Winston of raping her in 2012.

DeSantis previously appointed Justice Robert Luck, a Jewish judge from North Miami Beach, and Justice Barbara Lagoa, the first Hispanic woman to serve on the state Supreme Court.