Barbara Lagoa, the federal judge who is on President Donald Trump’s short list to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court, is married to Paul Huck Jr., an attorney who is the son of a federal judge.
Lagoa was one of two women Trump touted after Ginsburg’s death as a possible replacement; the other is federal Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Lagoa’s husband, Huck Jr., has close ties to the conservative Federalist Society and is a partner at a law firm that has represented President Donald Trump’s campaign, according to The Washington Post.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lagoa & Her Husband Have Three Children Together
“Justice Lagoa left the Florida Supreme Court on December 6, 2019, when she received her commission as a judge on the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals based in Atlanta from President Donald Trump,” the bio says.
In 2019, it says, :she became the first Latina and the first Cuban American woman appointed to serve on the Florida Supreme Court.”
She was named to the Florida Supreme Court by Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican. Before that, Governor Jeb Bush appointed her in 2006 to sthe Third District Court of Appeal. “On January 1, 2019, she became the first Hispanic female Chief Judge of the Third District Court of Appeal,” says the bio.
2. Huck Was General Counsel to a Florida Governor & Is an Attorney in Private Practice
Paul Huck Jr., Barbara Lagoa’s husband, is a lawyer for the Miami firm, Jones Day. According to his law firm bio, Huck’s practice “focuses on business litigation, regulatory advice, and government investigations. He has an extensive legal career working in the private and public sectors. He has represented entities and individuals in trials and appeals before state and federal courts in complex commercial litigation and cases of constitutional significance.”
From 2007 to 2008, Paul Huck “served as general counsel to the governor of Florida and was the principal legal advisor to the governor on a host of constitutional, legislative, and statutory issues affecting the executive branch,” the bio explains. Republican Charlie Crist was Republican during that time frame.
“He also supervised the major litigation being prosecuted or defended by the governor’s executive agencies, including cases arising in the environmental, transportation, and health care arenas.” The bio says he also helped engage gaming compacts between the state of Florida and the Seminole tribe that involved “allocation of water rights.”
He was Florida’s deputy attorney general and also worked for a “Miami litigation boutique law firm,” concentrating on “complex commercial litigation.”
3. Lagoa’s Father-in-Law Is a Federal Judge Appointed by Bill Clinton
Lagoa’s husband’s father is also a federal judge; he was appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton. He is a senior judge.
According to Ballotpedia, Paul C. Huck “is an Article III federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.” Clinton nominated him in 2000 and he received senior status in 2010.
Ballotpedia reports that the elder Huck has served in the Army Reserves and in private practice. He was born in Covington, Kentucky, and was educated at the University of Florida and University of Florida College of Law, according to the Federal Judicial Center.
4. Huck Jr. Was Called the ‘Godfather of the Federalist Society in Miami’
Huck Jr. is the “godfather of the Federalist Society in Miami,” said José Félix Díaz, a former state legislator, to The Washington Post. The Federalist Society is a prominent conservative group of lawyers. He’s listed on the Federalist Society’s website.
The Tampa Bay Times described the Federalist Society as “a group of conservatives and libertarians that push for a strict reading of the U.S. Constitution that adheres to the original text of the document” and reported that Lagoa is also a member of it.
Diaz added to the Post of the family, “I don’t think they get overly partisan at the kitchen table.”
Justice Barbara Lagoa “was born in Miami, Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts cum laude in 1989 from Florida International University where she majored in English and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society,” the Florida Supreme Court bio reads.
“Justice Lagoa received her Juris Doctor from Columbia University School of Law in 1992, where she served as an Associate Editor of the Columbia Law Review. She is fluent in English and Spanish.”
Prior to joining the bench, Justice Lagoa practiced in both the civil and criminal arenas. Her civil practice at Greenberg Traurig focused on general and complex commercial litigation, particularly the areas of employment discrimination, business torts, securities litigation, construction litigation, and insurance coverage disputes. In 2003, she joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida as an Assistant United States Attorney, where she worked in the Civil, Major Crimes and Appellate Sections. As an Assistant United States Attorney, she tried numerous criminal jury trials, including drug conspiracies and Hobbs Act violations. She also handled a significant number of appeals.
While a practicing lawyer, Justice Lagoa was admitted to The Florida Bar, the United States District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She was also a member of many local, state, and national professional groups including the Dade County Bar Association, and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers.
Justice Lagoa’s civic and community activities include service on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Greater Miami and Dade County, the Film Society of Miami, Kristi House, and the FIU Alumni Association. She was also a member of the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission. She is currently a member of the Eugene P. Spellman and William Hoeveler Chapter of the American Inns of Court.
5. Paul Huck Is Harvard-Educated & Teaches Law
Huck has a law degree from Harvard University and a degree from Princeton, according to his bio at the University of Miami School of Law.
He’s a member of the adjunct faculty at that law school, co-teaching “Professional Responsibility.”
See his LinkedIn page here.