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Fla. Gov. DeSantis Using Plane Seized in Drug Raid

11 January 2019

"She has been the essence of what a judge should be" the governor said. "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".

Barbara Lagoa, for the past 12 years a judge on the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami, was introduced by DeSantis at an event at Miami's Freedom Tower.

Lagoa's selection also drew praise from the business-backed Florida Justice Reform Institute, which, in a statement, called DeSantis' appointment "the first step towards fulfilling his promise to appoint judges who will interpret the law and not legislate from the bench".

DeSantis was scheduled to visit Broward County on Friday with the lieutenant governor and the state attorney general, who is the top law enforcement official in Florida.

DeSantis has two other Supreme Court picks due to mandatory retirements and is widely expected to tilt the court toward a more conservative philosophy.

DeSantis' predecessor, former Gov. Rick Scott is a multimillionaire and used his own plane for travel. Her appointment, replacing retiring Justice Fred Lewis, is effective immediately.

DeSantis, who just took office on Tuesday, said Lagoa, 51, has an impeccable judicial background and that her Cuban-American upbringing gives her extra appreciation for the rule of law. "The Cuban people do not know what laws will apply to them or whether they will receive a fair trial after arbitrarily being accused of political crimes. And so her backdrop understanding that I think has really made her appreciate the importance of the rule of law".

During his successful campaign, DeSantis told supporters that he hoped to alter the judiciary in Florida "for a generation" through the three vacancies.

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I thank God every day and still pray". "I'm just trying to take one day at a time". The fact that he's returning to practice this week is certainly a positive sign.

Over the past decade, the court overturned a number of policies important to GOP leaders, wrangled with lawmakers over congressional and Senate maps and, following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, ordered the Legislature to require unanimous jury recommendations for the death penalty to be imposed.

"I thought it was fitting, given that her parents came to Florida as Cuban exiles", DeSantis, 40, said.

Lagoa was born and raised in Miami.

Lagoa's parents emigrated to the United States from Cuba. Her husband, three daughters, parents and in-laws attended the announcement.

She received her Juris Doctor from Columbia University in 1992, serving as an associate editor of the Columbia Law Review. Lagoa, 51, worked at the Greenberg Traurig and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius law firms in Miami and is a former assistant US attorney in the Southern District of Florida.

The new justice has served on the Court of Appeals since her 2006 appointment by Bush.

Still, public outrage has been vast over Israel's handling of the Parkland shooting, where 17 students and faculty members were killed and another 17 wounded by a former student who came onto campus with a high-powered rifle. She now is a member of the Eugene P. Spellman and William Hoeveler Chapter of the American Inns of Court, the Junior League of Miami, and Fairchild Tropical Gardens. Cantero and current Justice Jorge Labarga are Cuban-Americans.

Fla. Gov. DeSantis Using Plane Seized in Drug Raid