Justice Barbara Lagoa might be appointed as a judge in US Supreme Court, filling the vacancy left by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If Lagoa’s nomination and selection are confirmed by the US Senate and President Donald Trump, she will be the second Hispanic woman and fifth woman overall to serve in US Supreme Court. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, appointed by Barack Obama was the first Hispanic woman to serve in the top court. Fifty -Two-year-old Lagoa will also become the youngest judge in the Supreme Court if she is selected for the role.

As per the reports by NDTV and Politico, Lagoa tops the list of potential jurist candidates that President Donald Trump is considering appointing to the US Supreme Court. Currently, the Cuban-American federal appellate judge is serving at the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She was the first Hispanic woman to serve as a judge in Florida’s Supreme Court.

Her Legal Career

Born in Miami, Florida, Lagoa is a member of the politically active Cuban-American community. She completed her graduation in Arts cum laude and a major in English from Florida International University. She received her Juris Doctorate from Columbia University School of Law. In 2006, she was first appointed as a federal prosecutor at Third District Court of Appeal by Governor Jeb Bush. She was the first Hispanic woman and the first Cuban American woman to be appointed in the intermediate state court. Later, on January 1, 2019, she became the first Hispanic female Chief Judge of the Third District Court of Appeal.

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Her career received a major breakthrough when Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appointed her as the first Hispanic and first Cuban American woman to serve in Florida’s Supreme Court on January 9, 2019. She left Florida’s Supreme Court on December 6, 2019, when Trump and US Senate appointed her as the federal judge at the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals, a regional Appeals Court which is a step lower than the Supreme Court. Even though Lagoa has less than a year’s experience as a federal judge, she is touted to be a competent replacement for late liberal justice RBG.

Her husband, Paul Huck. Jr is a lawyer at Miami Office of Jones Day and her father-in-law Paul Huck Sr. is a semi-retired federal judge in Miami. Lagoa has three daughters.

Legal victories

Lagoa has a legal background in both civil and criminal cases. In the civil arena, she has practised in general and complex commercial litigation, employment discrimination, business torts, securities litigation, construction litigation, and insurance coverage disputes. In the criminal arena, she has dealt with drugs conspiracies, violations of the Hobbs Act, among others.

One of the major legal victory that gained her a distinct recognition is when she reversed a judge’s decision and struck down a Florida law. According to the law, people with past criminal records could gain back their right to vote only after paying all the legal fees, restitution and fines.

Last year, the Florida Family Policy Council said that Lagoa’s judicial philosophies are conservative and deeply dedicated to her faith as a Roman Catholic. In an interview for Florida Supreme Court, Lagoa called herself as a “legal nerd”. “I am a tough questioner and I ask pointed questions, but I always do so respectfully,” she had added.

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