DeSantis appoints judge for 2nd time to Florida Supreme Court after lawsuit in 2020

Florida governor now has a 4-3 majority

Gov. Ron DeSantis appoints a judge to Florida's supreme court after her rejection the first time.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis now has a 4-3 majority of judges on the Florida Supreme Court with the appointment of Judge Renatha Francis and it is the second time Florida’s governor has appointed Francis.

In 2020, her nomination was challenged because she had not been a member of The Florida Bar for 10 years. Florida law requires a candidate to be a member of the Florida Bar for 10 years before being eligible to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

“I may be taking my seat on the bench two years later than anticipated, but as a student of history, I continue to be in awe of this country’s respect for the rule of law and the freedoms guaranteed in the text of the United States Constitution. As a Supreme Court Justice, I will apply the law as written by the people’s duly-elected representatives, knowing that I am a member of the judiciary in a system with separation of powers,” she said in a statement.

Francis, of West Palm Beach, will become the first Jamaican American to serve on the state’s highest court when she takes her seat on Sept. 1.

Her appointment fills the vacancy of former Florida Supreme Court Justice Al Lawson, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

She has served as a judge on the 15th Circuit Court since 2019 and previously served as a judge at the Miami-Dade County Court from 2017-2019. Francis also served as an attorney for the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee from 2011-2017.

Now all judges on the Florida Supreme Court are conservatives.

See the current roster of Florida Supreme Court Justices.

About the Author:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local