Trump Flips Another Federal Court to Conservative Control

Gov. Ron DeSantis stands behind Barbara Lagoa as she speaks after being named to the Florida Supreme Court / Getty Images
November 20, 2019

The Senate confirmed Barbara Lagoa to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, marking the third circuit court that has flipped from a Democrat-appointed majority to a Republican-appointed majority under the Trump administration.

Lagoa, who previously served on the Florida Supreme Court, will now serve as an appellate judge overseeing a district that includes Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. She garnered bipartisan support in an 80-15 vote.

Lagoa's confirmation came just a day after the Senate also confirmed fellow Miamian and Florida Supreme Court justice Robert Luck to sit on the 11th Circuit. The pair's ascension to the circuit court decisively swung the balance of the bench to Republican appointees. President Donald Trump had previously moved the Third Circuit and Second Circuit to conservative control.

The transformation of the federal court has been a major project of both Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.). More than 160 judges have been appointed to the federal bench since Trump took office, including Supreme Court appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

Carrie Severino, policy director of the conservative legal group Judicial Crisis Network, said Wednesday that Lagoa's appointment, and its effect on the federal court, represents a "major achievement for [Trump's] presidency."

"This success ... is a testament to the tangible impact the president has had in reshaping the federal judiciary with constitutionalist judges who are committed to the rule of law," she said. "Despite unrelenting Democrat smears and obstruction, President Trump, Leader McConnell, and Chairmen Graham and Grassley continue to make good on their promises to nominate and confirm judges who fairly apply the law and adhere to the Constitution."

Published under: Supreme Court