Our ever-busy Governor marked the 2nd full week in office by making his third and final selection for Florida’s Supreme Court. Gov. DeSantis picked Carlos Muniz. It’s been said and may prove to be true that Florida’s left-leaning Supreme Court, most evidenced by their ruling in the Florida 2000 recount process that the US Supreme Court put an end to, will now shift to the right. However, it’s always an oversimplification to make that assumption. Many justices are assumed to be partisans for a particular agenda when nominated only to rule differently than those expectations once on the bench.
As I’ve done with each of Florida’s Supreme Court nominees here’s a closer look at Carlos Muñiz. Let's start with his personal background. Muñiz was born in Chicago, Illinois, he is he is married and a father. Muñiz graduated with a B.A. from the University of Virginia and obtained his law degree from Yale. He was also the Editor of the Yale Law Journal and a member of the Federalist Society. Carlos Muñiz served as a Civil Rights Analyst for the Department of Justice and has served as a policy director for the Republican Party of Florida. To top it all off, he volunteers/supports the Open Door’s Women’s clinic in Tallahassee (pro-life pregnancy center).
When it comes to his professional background, Carlos Muñiz served as Counsel to Governor Jeb Bush. He was General Counsel to the Florida Department of Financial Services, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Florida House of Representatives and Florida’s Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Staff. He was also Partner and Senior Vice President of the McGuire Woods Consulting and served as General Counsel for the US Department of Education (appointed by President Trump).
Of course, people want to know about ideological considerations. Here’s where he differs the most from the other two Supreme Court selections. Carlos has a long and impressive career as an attorney but has never served as a judge. He’s practiced about every kind of law including business, civil litigation, criminal, entertainment, arts and sports, and family.
For that reason, but not exclusively, expect there to be more push back on this pick by many media outlets and pundits. You might have picked up on his role advising the Republican Party previously along with homeschooling and his work within the pro-life community. In other words, Carlos is noticeably the most overtly conservative selection of the three.
I characterized Barbara Lagoa as a Libertarianish conservative and Robert Luck as an economic-minded conservative. Carlos Muniz can probably be best described as a rock-solid conservative. Someone who walks the walk and will now assume his role on the Florida Supreme Court.
Photo by: CBS 12 and The Florida Channel