|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit|
|Assumed office |
December 6, 2019
|Appointed by||Donald Trump|
|Preceded by||Stanley Marcus|
|Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida|
January 9, 2019 – December 6, 2019
|Appointed by||Ron DeSantis|
|Preceded by||R. Fred Lewis|
|Succeeded by||John D. Couriel|
|Chief Judge of the Florida Third District Court of Appeal|
January 1, 2019 – January 8, 2019
|Preceded by||Leslie Rothenberg|
|Succeeded by||Kevin Emas|
|Judge of the Florida Third District Court of Appeal|
June 2006 – January 9, 2019
|Appointed by||Jeb Bush|
|Preceded by||David Levy|
|Succeeded by||Monica Gordo|
|Born||November 2, 1967|
Miami, Florida, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Paul Huck Jr.|
|Education||Florida International University (BA)|
Columbia University (JD)
Barbara Lagoa (born November 2, 1967) is an American attorney and jurist serving as a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Prior to becoming a federal judge, she was the first Hispanic woman to be appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida.
Lagoa was born in Miami, Florida, in 1967. A Cuban-American, Lagoa is the daughter of parents who fled from Cuba following the Revolution and the assumption of power by Fidel Castro. She grew up in the majority Cuban-American city of Hialeah, Florida. She is bilingual. Lagoa earned a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in 1989 from Florida International University, where she majored in English and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. She received her Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School in 1992; while at Columbia, she was an Associate Editor of the Columbia Law Review.
In 2000, Lagoa was one of a dozen mostly-pro bono lawyers who represented the Miami family of Elián González. In 2003, she became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, working in the Civil, Major Crimes, and Appellate Sections.
Lagoa was appointed to the Third District Court of Appeal by Governor Jeb Bush in June 2006 and became Chief Judge on January 1, 2019. On January 9, 2019, she was appointed to the Supreme Court of Florida by Governor Ron DeSantis. She was the first Hispanic woman and the first Cuban American woman to sit on the Florida Supreme Court. In April 2019, Lagoa wrote for the unanimous court when it found that DeSantis acted within his authority by suspending Sheriff Scott Israel for his response to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
In November 2019, Lagoa participated in oral arguments concerning an advisory opinion on whether the governor could require those felons whom voters had re-enfranchised through 2018 Florida Amendment 4 to pay fines before being allowed to vote. Lagoa resigned her position when she was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
On September 12, 2019, President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Lagoa to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She was nominated to the seat being vacated by Judge Stanley Marcus. On October 15, 2019, her nomination was sent to the Senate. On October 16, 2019, a hearing on her nomination was held before the Senate Judiciary Committee. On November 7, 2019, her nomination was reported out of committee by a vote of 18–4. On November 19, 2019, the Senate invoked cloture on her nomination by a vote of 80–15, and on the next day, November 20, confirmed her nomination by a vote of 80–15. She received her judicial commission on December 6, 2019.
In July 2020, Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote directly to Lagoa urging her to recuse herself from a challenge to felon disenfranchisement in Florida due to her earlier participation in a related matter on the Florida State Supreme Court. Lagoa and fellow Judge Robert Luck declined to recuse themselves stating that "An objective, disinterested lay person, knowing that we asked questions in a different proceeding (advisory vs. case-and-controversy), in a different court (Florida Supreme Court vs. federal court), with different issues (interpreting the state constitution vs. federal constitutional questions), and with different participants (“interested persons” vs. parties), would not reasonably entertain a significant doubt about our impartiality in this case." In September 2020, Lagoa joined the majority when the en banc circuit, by a vote of 6–4, upheld the constitutionality of the law the Florida legislature had passed required re-enfranchised felons to pay all financial obligations, including fines, fees, and restitution before being allowed to vote. Lagoa joined Chief Judge William H. Pryor Jr.'s majority opinion, joined Pryor's additional concurrence, and authored her own concurrence.
On September 9, 2020, Trump included Lagoa on a list of potential nominees to the United States Supreme Court. After the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18, 2020, Lagoa was mentioned as one of several front-runners to fill the vacancy created by Ginsburg's death.
The Washington Post reported that colleagues, friends, and scholars who have followed Lagoa's career describe her as "quiet and collegial, with shrewd political instincts." Her potential nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court was supported by a broad cross-section of Florida Republicans. Lagoa and her husband have built up "years of goodwill...in Florida's legal and political circles." Had she been successfully nominated, she would have been the first Supreme Court justice from Florida.
Lagoa is married to lawyer Paul C. Huck Jr., and her father-in-law is United States District Judge Paul Huck, a Clinton appointee. Lagoa and her husband have three daughters, including a set of twins. Lagoa is a practicing Roman Catholic, who cites Catholic education as instilling "an abiding faith in God that has grounded me and sustained me through the highs and lows of life".
R. Fred Lewis
| Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida
John D. Couriel
| Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-06-13 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=28719992