If nominated and confirmed, the federal appellate judge would be the second Latina justice on the Supreme Court.

Por Alma Sacasa
Septiembre 21, 2020

Following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died at age 87 on Friday after battling pancreatic cancer, President Donald Trump is already narrowing down his list of possible replacements for the iconic justice. According to multiple reports, Florida federal judge Barbara Lagoa is among the contenders. If nominated and confirmed, the Cuban American would be the second Latina to serve on the court, following current Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She would also give the court a 6-3 conservative majority.

Lagoa is a conservative jurist who was the first Hispanic woman to serve on the Florida Supreme Court. In 2019, Trump appointed her to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in Atlanta and has jurisdiction over Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Florida is crucial to Trump's reelection campaign, and nominating Lagoa, a Latina judge from the state, could give him a boost with Latino voters.

Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Lagoa has said her parents' flight from Castro's Cuba shaped her views and career. "In the country my parents fled, the whim of a single individual could mean the difference between food or hunger, liberty or prison, life or death," Lagoa said at an event last year. "Unlike the country my parents fled, we are a nation of laws, not of men."

Despite the fact that Lagoa comes from an immigrant background, the liberal activist group Alliance for Justice has said Lagoa's previous decisions "raise concerns that she will side with the wealthy and powerful at the expense of everyday Americans as a federal judge." They also cited a 2019 ruling in which Lagoa sided with businesses challenging Miami Beach's minimum wage, as well as her decision to side with a policy that made it harder for homeowners to fight foreclosure proceedings.