Two days after the death of prominent Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Florida Republicans have joined forces to support Barbara Lagoa, a 52-year-old Cuban-born American judge born in Miami, named by Trump last year at the Court of Appeal. related to the 11th Circuit based in Alabama, reports the Washington Post, which cites sources familiar with the talks. Lagoa’s shortlist of potential Ginsberg replacements reflects Trump’s campaign team’s crude political calculations in one of the states whose votes are crucial to a new term amid efforts to court Hipsan voters, especially the community. Cuban-Americans in South Florida, an important one.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, one of the proponents of his promotion to the U.S. Supreme Court, named Lagoa to the Florida Supreme Court in January 2019 after serving as a judge at the Interim Court of Appeals in Florida for 14 years. this state.
His parents left Cuba after Fidel Castro’s communist revolution. Born in Miami, she grew up in Hialeah and graduated from the prestigious Columbia University, as did Grinberg. In 2000, he was a pro bono lawyer for the family of Elian Gonzalez, a 5-year-old Cuban boy rescued after his mother drowned trying to reach the United States. Finally, after a court battle between the child’s father and relatives in the USA, the boy was sent back to Cuba.
“Elian was a trophy in a struggle between the Cuban government and the tireless anti-Castro policy of the Cuban community in Miami, of which Lagoa became a prominent member,” said David Abraham, professor emeritus of law at the University of Miami. “His case has become a vehicle for group solidarity, as well as for maintaining and building political power.”
Lagoa, a Roman Catholic, confessed that his parents’ flight from Castro’s regime in Cuba shaped his beliefs and career.
“In the country from which my parents fled, the whims of a single individual could make the difference between access to food and hunger, between freedom or imprisonment, life and death. Unlike that country, we are a nation of laws, not men, “Lagoa said last year.
The liberal activist group Alliance for Justice said Lagoa’s decisions as a judge “raise concerns that he will take the side of the rich and powerful to the detriment of ordinary Americans” – citing a 2019 ruling in favor of businessmen who challenged a proposal to raise the minimum wage in Miami Beach, but also its support for legislation unfavorable to landlords fighting enforcement.
Together with her husband, a lawyer at a Miami law firm that advocates for Republican cases, she has extensive connections to the Federalist Society, an influential conservative legal group.
Efforts to install a second Latin judge in the Supreme Court would immediately raise the stakes of a nomination battle that would turn into one on democratic legitimacy principles, the Washington Post writes. Republicans would thus seek to move forward with a selection process contrary to the standard they set in 2016, when they blocked a nomination of Democratic President Barack Obama in an election year. Lagoa’s election would be an attempt to refocus attention on the personal history of a nominated potential, as well as his political attractiveness to the detriment of a legitimacy of the selection process.
A 14-year-old judge, Lagoa has been challenged by Democrats over his role in an appellate court ruling in favor of legislation that convicts of serious crimes pay all fines, fees and legal fees before they have the right to vote – a decision that affects 85,000 convicts.
If Trump manages to install a Republican replacement in place of the Ginsburg Liberals, this will secure a 6-3 Conservative majority in the Supreme Court.