In a public declaration by President Donald Trump, Florida Supreme Court Justice Carlos Muñiz and federal appeals-court Judge Barbara Lagoa find themselves in some rare company. Their names were included Wednesday on Trump’s United States Supreme Court short list, along with 18 other names, several of which are nationally known.
Among others announced Wednesday: U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, and U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley.
The new short list is an addendum to the list Trump initially released in the closing weeks of the 2016 Republican presidential primary, shortly after Ted Cruz dropped out. Trump sought to reassure conservatives that he would make Supreme Court picks they would appreciate.
“The 20 additions I am announcing today would be jurists in the mold of Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito,” Trump said in the statement, then promptly blasted his Democrat opponent, saying Joe Biden had not released names because “they are so far left [they] could never withstand scrutiny.”
“Radical justices will erase the Second Amendment, silence political speech and require taxpayers to fund extremely late-term abortion,” Trump said. “It will give unelected bureaucrats the power to destroy millions of American jobs. They will remove the words under God from the Pledge of Allegiance. They will unilaterally declare the death penalty unconstitutional, even for the most depraved mass murderers.”
Lagoa and Muñiz, were appointed to the Florida Supreme Court by Gov. Ron DeSantis upon taking office in 2019. Late last year, Lagoa and another DeSantis nominee, Robert Luck, were both picked by Trump to serve on the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Lagoa and Luck served on South Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal before they were picked by DeSantis to serve on the Supreme Court. Lagoa was the state’s first Cuban-American female justice. Muñiz served as chief of staff to former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and as deputy general counsel to former Gov. Jeb Bush. He was general counsel of the U.S. Department of Education when appointed by DeSantis.
Trump will likely need to win a second term before any of the names could ever be fitted for a robe as a Supreme Court Justice.