Florida Supreme Court Justices Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck, en route to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, received a friendly vetting Wednesday by a Senate committee.
President Donald Trump tapped the two Florida justices for the Atlanta appeals court just months after Gov. Ron DeSantis named them to serve on the Sunshine State’s highest court.
“Justices Barbara Lagoa and Robert J. Luck faced little pushback from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during their nomination hearing Wednesday morning, as they fielded questions about “judicial activism” and how they would approach precedent as members of the federal judiciary,” The National Law Journal reported Wednesday.
If Lagoa and Luck get the go-ahead to join the appellate court, as is widely anticipated, DeSantis will have the opportunity to appoint two new state court justices to take their place.
That would put the governor in the rare position of appointing five Florida Supreme Court justices in his first term as the state’s chief executive.
The Judicial Nominating Commission is responsible for delivering a list of names to the governor to fill the vacancies.
But that process won’t kick in until Luck and Lagoa officially leave the bench after being confirmed by the Senate, a process which could drag on until December.
Once the vacancies occur, the JNC has 60 days to give a list of possible replacements to the governor and DeSantis will have an additional 60 days to make his choices.