DeSantis appoints a new Florida Supreme Court justice, Renatha Francis

Governor wanted to make Francis a justice two years ago

Judge Renatha Francis. (WPLG)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed a new justice to the Florida Supreme Court Friday — one he tried to appoint in 2020.

The governor appointed Renatha Francis to the Florida Supreme Court during a news conference in West Palm Beach.

Francis, a judge for the 15th judicial circuit in South Florida, was DeSantis’ pick for the high court two years ago, but she did not meet the requirement of being a member of the Florida Bar for 10 years, and he was forced to pick a new justice by the Supreme Court.

“She understands the proper role of the judge in America’s constitutional system,” DeSantis said. “I also think, being an immigrant, she probably has more appreciation for our constitutional system than many people that can trace their lineage back hundreds of years.”

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An immigrant from Jamaica, Francis got her degrees from the University of the West Indies and Florida Coastal Law School. She was a county court judge and a circuit court judge for the 11th judicial circuit before she joined the 15th circuit in November 2019.

She is also a current member of the Federalist Society, a powerful group that pushes conservative legal ideas.

You can read more about her background through the Florida Bar website.

Francis will take Justice Alan Lawson’s seat, a Gov. Rick Scott appointee who has retired. Francis’ appointment will take effect in September.


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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.