A Look At Potential Supreme Court Nominee Barbara Lagoa

Miami’s own Barbara Lagoa has had a rapid rise in the judicial system since the election of Governor DeSantis. As one of his first actions as governor, Ron DeSantis nominated her to Florida’s Supreme Court. Less than a year later, President Trump tabbed her to fill a vacancy on the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals. At the time she was originally nominated for Florida’s Supreme Court, I shared a bit of her background and career. She is a Cuban American born and raised in Miami. Barbara is a graduate of FIU and Columbia University and is married and a mother of three. She's also served on the boards of the YWCA of Greater Miami, Kristi House, and the Miami film society.

Barbara Lagoa also has a big professional background.

  • Associate editor of the Columbia law review
  • South Florida based attorney with a focus on criminal and civil law with interest in business litigation
  • U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida
  • Justice on the Third District Court of Appeals (appointed by Jeb Bush)
  • Recommended by 86% of the members of the Florida Bar

And of course, people want to know about ideological considerations. By general accounts, she’s labeled a conservative. But, she’s most known for professionally. She served pro-bono as a council for the American family of Elian Gonzalez and authored the majority opinion determining that damages for medical malpractice should be based on one’s pre-diagnosis life expectancy rather than one’s post malpractice life expectancy.

Based on what I’ve reviewed of her record, she appears to be a pragmatist. She places a priority on the individual over the collective and isn’t inclined to deviate from established legal precedent. Notably, she was confirmed to the 11th US Circuit Court by an 80-15 vote last November in the Senate. Many Senators on the left would be placed in a situation in which they’d have to defend why they’d vote for her for a powerful federal court but oppose her for the high court.

Photo by: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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