With the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it is now up to President Donald Trump to find a replacement to fill her seat.
In the past few days, Trump has narrowed down the list of potential nominees to a select few names.
Near the top of that list is Judge Barbara Lagoa.
Here are the first four facts you need to know about her:
Much like the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Lagoa is a champion of reading the Constitution as the Founders intended it.
After a recent vote, Lagoa explained her commitment to upholding the Constitution and what role she felt the judicial system should play in the American government.
“Our role in the constitutional system is simply to review that step for compliance with the Constitution, not to lengthen its stride. To proceed otherwise would violate the principles of federalism and separation of powers — the two structural guarantors of individual rights and liberty in our Constitution,” Lagoa wrote, according to CNN.
“It falls to the citizens of the State of Florida and their elected state legislators, not to federal judges, to make any additional changes to it.”
Popular Florida Judge
One of the main reasons Lagoa has rocketed up Trump’s list of potential nominees is her popularity in Florida.
Veteran Democratic pollster and consultant Fernand Amandi noted in an interview with Politico that a Lagoa nomination may go a long way in helping Trump come November.
“It’s a play for women, Hispanics and most importantly, Florida’s 29 Electoral votes,” Amandi said.
“Barbara Lagoa is the conservative Cuban version of Sonia Sotomayor.”
The proud Cuban heritage of Lagoa is one of the many reasons she has become so popular in Florida.
Lagoa often references this heritage and has noted on multiple occasions how it has influenced her view of the judicial system.
“If we are not bound by what the Constitution means and it is ever-changing, then we are no different than the country that my parents fled from, which is Cuba.
“Because Cuba has a constitution and a bill of rights and it means nothing,” Lagoa said during testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to CNN.
Garnered Bipartisan Support
Lagoa was confirmed to her appeals court post in an 80-15 vote in November 2019.
This was due to a significant amount of bipartisan support, including from Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Chris Coons of Delaware and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, according to Fox News.
Some Republicans view the bipartisan support for Lagoa as a red flag, but given her principled, originalist approach to reading the Constitution, it is likely nothing to worry about.
The support from Democrats will likely dissipate if Lagoa is nominated by Trump.
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