Two of the seven seats on the Florida Supreme Court are currently vacant. The seats were held by Robert Luck and Barbara Lagoa and will be filled by the current governor, Ron DeSantis (R), through assisted gubernatorial appointment.
Under the assisted gubernatorial appointment method, the Governor of Florida chooses from a list of three to six candidates recommended by a commission on judicial appointments. The appointment of a justice must be confirmed by a retention vote in the next general election at least one year after taking office.
DeSantis initially appointed Luck to the Florida Supreme Court in 2019. He is now a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. He was nominated to the court by President Donald Trump (R) on October 15, 2019, and confirmed by the United States Senate on November 19, 2019, by a vote of 64-31.
DeSantis initially appointed Lagoa to the Florida Supreme Court on January 9, 2019. She is now a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. On October 15, 2019, President Donald Trump (R) nominated Lagoa to a seat on this court. The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination on November 20, 2019, by an 80-15 vote.
There is a chance that a third seat on the Court will be filled by a new justice in 2020. The term of Justice Carlos Muñiz will expire on January 5, 2021. He is up for retention election on November 3, 2020.
All five sitting justices were appointed by Republican governors. Justices serve six-year terms.
Click here to learn more about Florida’s 2020 Supreme Court elections.