Republicans are set to reap a VERY LONG awaited reward in Florida

Republicans are about to reap something they have dreamed about for a VERY, VERY, VERY long time. Control of the Florida Supreme Court, an institution that has vexed them for the past 30 years.

Three liberal Justices are facing mandatory retirement on January 8, 2019, due to the the 70 year age limit, which ironically goes to 75 on July 1, 2019, due to passage of a Constitutional Amendment.

A merit selection panel appointed by Governor Scott has evaluated about 59 applicants and narrowed the field down to 11 choices, from which incoming Governor DeSantis must choose.

Five of the Supreme Court seats are District seats, meaning one Justice must be selected from each of the Districts, while the other two seats are at-large and may be selected statewide. After the three retirements, there will be no incumbent for the Third District, meaning that one of the new Justices must come from the Third District, the other two can come from statewide. The finalists for the two at-large seats are bundled together, with the finalists for the Third District seat separate.

Finalists for two at-large seats: (DeSantis must pick two of these.)

  • Jonathan D. Gerber: Chief judge of the 4th District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach. He was appointed by then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist in 2009.
  • Jamie Rutland Grosshans: Judge on the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach, appointed by Scott earlier this year.
  • Jeffrey T. Kuntz: Judge on the 4th District Court of Appeal appointed by Scott in 2016.
  • Bruce Kyle: Circuit judge in the 20th Judicial Circuit in Fort Myers and former Republican Florida House representative from 1998 to 2006.
  • Timothy D. Osterhaus: Judge on the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee and former state Solicitor General appointed by Scott in 2013.
  • Samuel J. Salario Jr.: Judge on the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Lakeland appointed by Scott in 2014.
  • Anuraag Singhal: Circuit judge in the 17th Judicial Circuit in Fort Lauderdale appointed by Scott in 2011.

Three candidates for 3rd Appellate District seat on Supreme Court: (DeSantis must pick 1.)

  • John Daniel Couriel: The other non-judge on the list, he is a former federal prosecutor and now an attorney with the Kobre & Kim law firm in Miami.
  • Barbara Lagoa: Judge on the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2006.
  • Robert J. Luck: Judge on the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami appointed by Scott in 2013.

*Carlos Muñiz, former chief of staff to Attorney General Pam Bondi, who is now President Donald Trump’s appointee as general counsel to the U.S. Department of Education. (The article is unclear as to whether he is an at-large candidate or Third District candidate.)

The end results that the Florida Supreme Court will likely swing, in one shot, from a 4 to 3 liberal majority to a 6 to 1 conservative majority.

This is perhaps the biggest reason Republicans were so desperate to win the Governors race this year. Obviously, an Andrew Gillum appointed court would have looked very different.

Oh I have totally forgotten this.

Good find.

Florida dodged a yooge bullet. Now it will be led by fearless patriots of the Red State Brigades, and their first task will be to cast godless libs into the outer darkness.

On the contrary, I think the affect will be much more subtle and muted. The Florida Constitution contains a very strong privacy right which is specifically enumerated, so they are somewhat bound on social issues such as abortion, they can only go so far. The difference will be more noticeable in the interpretation of the actions of State agencies, etc.

Ron DeSantis has made his first two appointments.

  • Barbara Lagoa: Judge on the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2006.
  • Robert J. Luck: Judge on the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Miami appointed by Scott in 2013.

Their appointments are effective immediately and they will likely take their seats very soon. Lagoa will be the first Hispanic female on the Florida Supreme Court.

(Note: DeSantis had to pick 1 from the bottom three on the list in my OP. However, his other two picks could come from EITHER the top or bottom list.)

The headline on this article is wrong. :smile: Luck is not and has NEVER been a federal judge in any capacity, though he was an Assistant United States Attorney during his career. He has been a State Circuit (trial) Judge and is currently a State District (appellate) Judge.

I would expect the final appointment before the end of this week.

Carlos Muniz is the 3rd and final pick.

I don’t think you’ve seen Republicans in power. I wish every citizen of Florida the best, and I hope the enjoy their new conservative government. They earned it.

A poet, well said. Made me tear a bit there :clap:

Actually, Florida has had a conservative government for the previous eight years. Rick Scott did a very good job. So far Ron DeSantis has started out ok.

And Florida is much more decentralized than many States. Counties and municipalities have a high degree of home rule, so I don’t expect any abuses.


Ok, in Michigan, they have completely destroyed the state constitution in 8 years. It’s the main reason I have stopped supporting any republican. Maybe the Florida Republicans are different.

The political culture is a bit different in Florida, mainly due to the fact that the electorate is so evenly divided. It tends to moderate both parties as a whole to some degree.

How is gerrymandering in Florida? Is it done outside of the legislature? That’s what did Michigan in when the Republicans controlled all three branches in 2011. Extreme gerrymandering.

The people of Florida adopted constitutional amendments that limit the ability of the legislature to gerrymander and most gerrymanders in the state have been undone.

However, the Republicans do possess an advantage in legislative races even without deliberate gerrymandering, due to the fact that Democratic voters are heavily clustered in certain counties.

So even without gerrymandering, Republicans will still dominate state legislative races.

Can’t help but think about 2000 and how it might have been different with a different Florida Supreme Court.

Uhm no. They don’t need the outer darkness. They have the Gulf of Mexico! :sunglasses: