DeSantis nominates Judge Barbara Lagoa to Florida Supreme Court

New governor names Cuban-American appellate judge at Freedom Tower in Miami

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor

MIAMI - Gov. Ron DeSantis has nominated Cuban-American Judge Barbara Lagoa to the Florida Supreme Court.

One day after being sworn in, Florida's new governor made the announcement Wednesday at the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami. It was a fitting location for the announcement, given its beacon as a symbol of freedom to Cubans who fled from Fidel Castro's communist rule of the island nation.

Lagoa was born in Miami, raised in Hialeah and graduated from Florida International University. She currently serves on Florida's Third District Court of Appeal.

"Justice Lagoa's proven commitment to upholding the rule of law, unparalleled legal career and vast experience on the appellate bench distinguish her among the most qualified individuals to serve on our state's highest court," DeSantis said.

She becomes the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Florida Supreme Court.

INSIDE: Everything you want to know about Barbara Lagoa

Lagoa, who attended law school at Columbia University, was first appointed to the Third District Court of Appeal by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2006. She previously worked as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

"I am deeply humbled and honored by this appointment," Lagoa said.

DeSantis and Lagoa were joined by Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez, a Cuban-American who grew up in Miami and attended Florida International University, DeSantis' wife, Casey DeSantis, and Lagoa's family.

During his inaugural address Tuesday, DeSantis spoke about putting an end to judicial activism.

"I will only appoint judges who understand the proper role of the courts is to apply the law and Constitution as written, not to legislate from the bench," he said. "The Constitution, not the judiciary, is supreme."

DeSantis is expected to announce two more nominations to the state Supreme Court in the near future.

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