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Gov. DeSantis prepares for Florida Supreme Court picks

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With justices Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck nominated for seats on a federal appeals court, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday he could be able to appoint two new Florida Supreme Court justices in early 2020.

DeSantis, speaking to reporters and editors gathered at the Capitol for an annual Associated Press event, said he thinks the U.S. Senate could confirm Lagoa and Luck by early December, triggering the process to replace them on the Supreme Court.

DeSantis appointed Lagoa, Luck and Justice Carlos Muniz in January to fill three vacancies on the Supreme Court, and President Donald Trump then nominated Lagoa and Luck for seats on the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

If they are confirmed to the appeals court, a state nominating commission then would provide names of potential Supreme Court replacements to DeSantis.

He said he could make the picks during the 2020 legislative session, which starts Jan. 14 and will last until March.

DeSantis, who took office in January, also pointed to the unusual situation of being able to make five Supreme Court appointments in little more than a year.

“These things just happen. (Former governors) Jeb Bush and Rick Scott were in for 16 years combined, and they got three appointments combined,” DeSantis said. “I will have been in for a year, a year and two months, and I would have already had five.”