Multiple news outlets are reporting that South Florida’s Barbara Lagoa is on President Donald Trump’s short list of nominees for the Supreme Court. Trump has suggested he will nominate a woman to fill the seat long held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at 87.
As he departed the White House Saturday for a campaign rally in North Carolina, Trump had this to say about Lagoa: "She is an extraordinary person. I’ve heard at length about her. She’s Hispanic and she’d highly respected.”
Here are five things you should know about Lagoa.
1) She was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2019, making her the first Cuban-American woman to serve the state’s highest court. Her appointment was short-lived, as Trump picked Lagoa for the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which covers Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
2) She is the bilingual daughter of Cuban exiles who grew up in Hialeah. Florida is Trump’s biggest battle ground state and Cubans make an import voting bloc for the president. A nomination could make inroads with with broader bloc of Hispanic voters.
3) She’s been vetted. Lagoa won much bipartisan support in the Senate — 80 to 15 when she was appointed to the 11th Circuit.
4) She is Ivy League educated. While attending law school at Columbia, she served as the associate editor for the prestigious Columbia Law Review. Lagoa also served on the legal team trying to stop Elian Gonzales' return to Cuba. The child became part of a international custody dispute.
5) She’s young, 52 and a member of the conservative Federalist Society. If selected and appointed, Lagoa would be the youngest seated on the court, effectively representing a conservative voice for decades.
Eileen Kelley can be reached at 772-925-9193 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @reporterkell.
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