The Phoenix Flyer

Two Florida justices move closer to joining a federal appellate court

By: - November 7, 2019 1:27 pm

The Florida Supreme Court as it stood on Sept. 25, 2019. Front row (l-r): Justice Ricky Polston, Chief Justice Charles T. Canady, Justice Jorge Labarga. Back row (l-r): Justice Robert J. Luck, Justice Alan Lawson, Justice Barbara Lagoa, Justice Carlos G. Muñiz. Lagoa and Luck have since departed. Credit: Florida Supreme Court website.

The nominations of Florida Supreme Court Justices Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck as federal appellate judges are headed to the U.S. Senate floor, after winning support from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Without debate, Luck cleared the Senate panel in a 16-6 vote, while Lagoa’s nomination was endorsed in a 18-4 vote.

The opposition came from some Democrats, including three senators running for president, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Kamala Harris of California.

But some Democrats voted for both nominees, including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California.With approval from the full U.S. Senate imminent, Lagoa and Luck will become members of the U.S.  Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta.

Their move to the federal bench will trigger the process for Gov. Ron DeSantis to appoint two new members to the seven-member Florida Supreme Court. In his first month in office, DeSantis appointed Luck, Lagoa and Justice Carlos Muniz to the Florida Supreme Court.

Their appointments established a solid conservative majority on the state’s highest appellate court.

Here is a prior Florida Phoenix story on President Donald Trump’s nominations of Luck and Lagoa to the federal appellate court.

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Lloyd Dunkelberger
Lloyd Dunkelberger

Lloyd Dunkelberger has been covering Florida government for over three decades. He’s reported and edited in Tallahassee for the New York Times Regional Newspapers group, Florida Politics, and the News Service of Florida. He grew up in Jacksonville and Palm Beach County and got his journalism degree at the University of Florida.