Gov. DeSantis to speak on holding 'government officials accountable'

Rodiano Bonacci
Gennaio 12, 2019

"I am particularly mindful of the fact that under our constitutional system it is for the legislature and not the courts to make the law". Rick Scott, Florida's governor the past eight years, called Lagoa a "fantastic choice" who has had a "stellar legal career". "And it is the role of judges to interpret our Constitution and statutes as they are written".

In 2003, Lagoa joined the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida as an assistant United States attorney, where she worked in the Civil, Major Crimes and Appellate sections. She'll be the state Supreme Court's first female Cuban-American justice.

"In the country, my parents fled the whim of a single individual could mean the difference between food and hunger, liberty or prison, life or death", Lagoa said. "Unlike the country my parents fled, we are a nation of laws, not of men". The governor's office did not respond to questions about the plane.

Therefore, I ask that each of you tender your resignation from the Board, effective immediately. "She understands the rule of law, how important that is to a society". Now, that's not going to be like the old state planes where the Cabinet and other people could do it.

"Similarly to them taking me by auto, FDLE does have a plane that was seized", DeSantis said.

DeSantis' office said Lagoa will be the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Supreme Court. In June 2006 Gov. Jeb Bush appointed her to fill the Third DCA vacancy created by the retirement of Judge David Levy.

DeSantis announced the new justice at Miami's Freedom Tower, a location that resonates with political significance. The site is highly symbolic for Cuban-Americans because so many immigrants who fled the communist reign of Cuban leader Fidel Castro were processed into the US through that building. The 17-story tower, built in 1925 as a newspaper headquarters, is a symbol of hope, freedom and democracy - like New York's Ellis Island for generations of European immigrants - for many in the Cuban American community. As an Assistant United States Attorney, she tried numerous criminal jury trials, including drug conspiracies and Hobbs Act violations.

Justice Lagoa graduated from Florida International University with honors in 1989 and from Columbia University School of Law in 1992, where she served as an editor to the prestigious Columbia Law Review. Lagoa, 51, worked at the Greenberg Traurig and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius law firms in Miami and is a former assistant US attorney in the Southern District of Florida. "For the past 12 years, Judge Lagoa has served our community and judiciary as the first Cuban-American woman on the Third District Court of Appeal". The conservative organization, anathema to liberals, is dedicated to changing the federal courts and has played a big role in helping to vet President Donald Trump's judicial nominees.

Maria D. Garcia, president of the Cuban American Bar Association (CABA), congratulated Lagoa in a letter after the Miami announcement.

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