On August 12, 2019, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Barbara Lagoa to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The Senate Judiciary Committee must carefully review Lagoa’s record before confirming her to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
Lagoa is a graduate of Florida International University and Columbia Law School. Following law school, she clerked for the Honorable Robert P. Patterson Jr. of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. After clerking, Lagoa practiced law in Miami. Among other cases, she represented the Miami relatives of Elian Gonzalez, pro bono. She then served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
In 2006, then-Governor Jeb Bush appointed Lagoa to the Third District Court of Appeals. In January 2019, newly elected Governor Ron DeSantis appointed her, along with Robert Luck and Carlos Muniz, to the Supreme Court of Florida.
Lagoa is a member of the Federalist Society, and her appointment to the Florida Supreme Court was “screened” by the group’s executive vice president Leonard Leo who “flew down to Orlando” and interviewed Lagoa for the state Supreme Court position. Fewer than three weeks after Lagoa became a state Supreme Court justice, she was feted at the Florida chapter of the Federalist Society’s annual exclusive event at Disney World’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort.
Her appointment to the Florida Supreme Court was endorsed by William W. Large, the President of the Florida Justice Reform Institute who is an advocate for conservative legal reforms and led Gov. Jeb Bush’s fight to limit the ability of victims of medical malpractice to be fully compensated. The president of the Florida Family Policy Council, an anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ group praised her appointment.
Several of Lagoa’s decisions raise concerns that she will side with the wealthy and powerful at the expense of everyday Americans as a federal judge.