The U.S. Senate has confirmed two nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Overall, the Senate has confirmed 164 of President Trump’s Article III judicial nominees—two Supreme Court justices, 48 appellate court judges, 112 district court judges, and two U.S. Court of International Trade judges—since January 2017. At the end of the 115th Congress in January 2019, the Senate had confirmed 85 of the president’s judicial nominees.
The confirmed nominees were Robert J. Luck and Barbara Lagoa. Luck received commission the day of his confirmation. When Lagoa receives commission, she will replace Judge Stanley Marcus, who will assume senior status upon Lagoa’s swearing-in. At that time, the court will have no vacancies, seven Republican-appointed judges, and five Democrat-appointed judges.
The 11th Circuit is the third appellate court to change from a majority of Democrat-appointed judges to Republican-appointed judges since President Trump took office. The 2nd and 3rd Circuits also changed from majority Democrat- to majority Republican-appointed judges during the Trump administration.
There are 13 U.S. courts of appeal. They are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system.
Luck and Lagoa were both justices on the Florida Supreme Court. Their federal confirmation leaves two vacant seats on the seven-member state supreme court. In Florida, a judicial nominating commission screens potential supreme court candidates and submits a list of nominees to the governor. This will be Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R) fourth and fifth appointments to the court. Newly appointed judges serve for at least one year, after which they appear in a yes-no retention election held during the next general election. If retained, judges serve six-year terms.