A pop quiz:
Which of these judges, listed on recent Eleventh Circuit opinions, is an active judge on the Eleventh Circuit: Gregory Katsas, Robert J. Luck, Susan Webber Wright, Barbara Lagoa, Jane Restani, and Jeffery S. Sutton? Harder than it seems, eh?
In recent months, the United States Senate has confirmed no fewer than three new judges on our local appeals court. President Trump is now responsible for six (fifty percent!) of the 12 full-time judges on the court. He has transformed the Eleventh Circuit not in his own image (the new judges are far too cerebral and scholarly for that), but in the Federalist Society’s image. (Earlier this month, for example, four of the new wave of Eleventh Circuit judges appeared as panelists at the Federalist Society’s Florida chapter’s annual conference.)
In three short years, the President has nominated and the Senate has confirmed Judges Kevin C. Newsom, Britt C. Grant, Elizabeth Branch, and now these three jurists over the last few months: Robert J. Luck, Barbara Lagoa, and Andrew L. Brasher.
Judge Luck most recently served on the Florida Supreme Court. He will replace Judge Tjoflat on the Eleventh Circuit’s roster of active judges. He twice clerked for Chief Judge Ed Carnes, worked as an AUSA in the Southern District of Florida, and was once an adjunct professor at Alabama State University, a historically black college. Check out his Ballotpedia page.
Judge Lagoa fills the slot vacated by Judge Stanley Marcus when he took senior status. She most recently spent one year on the Florida Supreme Court, where she was that court’s first Latina (and Cuban-American) woman. (And she is now the first Latina jurist on the Eleventh Circuit, too.) Judge Lagoa served 13 years on the Florida Third Circuit Court of Appeal. She was once an AUSA in the Southern District of Florida. You’ll find her Ballotpedia page here.
Judge Brasher, who will fill the slot vacated by Chief Judge Ed Carnes when he took senior status, arrives from the Middle District of Alabama bench. His nomination, says the Daily Report, “was vehemently opposed by civil rights organizations citing his work in cases opposing same sex marriage, limiting legal abortions, restricting voting rights and defending racial gerrymandering.” You will find more information about Judge Brasher, including the “no” vote by one of his home senators, Doug Jones (D-Ala.), on his Ballotpedia page.
So how’d you do on the quiz? Gregory Katsas (D.C. Circuit), Robert J. Luck (Eleventh Circuit), Susan Webber Wright (E.D. Arkansas), Barbara Lagoa (Eleventh Circuit), Jane A. Restani (U.S. Court of International Trade), and Jeffrey S. Sutton (Sixth Circuit).