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Makeover underway in the Florida Supreme Court

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday named Robert Luck to Florida Supreme Court.
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday named Robert Luck to Florida Supreme Court.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On his mission to revamp Florida's courtrooms, Gov. Ron Desantis has filled two vacancies on the state’s highest court and one more appointment is in the works.

Florida's new governor made it clear during his inaugural address what he's looking for in a judge.

“For far too long, Florida has seen judges expand their power beyond constitutional bounds,” said DeSantis.

So far, his picks for the State Supreme Court are being praised. 

Barbara Lagoa is the first Hispanic woman on the court. Robert Luck, at 37 could spend nearly four decades there before reaching mandatory retirement at 75.

A number of controversial decisions from the Supreme Court have been decided on a 4-3 vote, but there have also been unanimous votes.

DeSantis is also facing some criticism. For the first time in decades, no African American is on the court.

The panel that screened potential judges chose not to recommend one. Attorney Thomas Dickens says it makes a difference.

“What if you were, say, a white litigant and you go before a panel that is all African American jurists,” said Dickens. "How does, does that make you feel comfortable that justice was done once the answer comes back?”

Democrats have already filed legislation to revamp the makeup of the panels that screen and nominate judicial candidates, but it stands little chance of passing.

Even if lawmakers were to approve changing the judicial nomination commission make up, this or any governor would likely veto it, since the governor controls all the appointments.