Still less than a week into his term, on Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis named Florida Third District Court of Appeal Judge Robert Luck to the Florida Supreme Court, the second appointment DeSantis has made to that court during his short tenure.
Justice Barbara Lagoa, who DeSantis named to the court last week, swore Luck in at an event at Scheck Hillel Community School in South Florida.
“It is a great privilege for me to appoint Robert Luck to the Florida Supreme Court,” DeSantis said. “Justice Luck has a public servant’s heart and a deep understanding of the constitutional separation of powers and the proper role of the courts.
“Not only will he be a formidable force on the Florida Supreme Court, I think he will immediately command the respect of his colleagues and Florida’s judicial community. Our state is fortunate to have Justices Luck and Lagoa now serving on the bench,” DeSantis added.
Originally from Miami, Luck was named to the Florida Third District Court of Appeal by then Gov. Rick Scott in March 2017. Before that, he sat on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida from September 2013 to March 2017 kept his seat in the 2016 elections as Miami-Dade voters opted to retain him. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
Florida Family Policy Council President John Stemberger, one of the leading social and religious conservatives in the Sunshine State and an attorney, praised the appointment.
“Robert Luck is a brilliant jurist. To speak with, or listen to Judge Luck, is to realize you are in the presence of a truly unique and Scalia-like intellect,” Stemberger said. “Luck fully understands that the role of a judge is a limited one of restraint. He has demonstrated over the years through his written decisions and public statements, that the job of a judge is to interpret law as it is written and not make law or engage in result-oriented decision making. As an observant Jew, Luck is also grounded in ethical and moral principles that will surely guide and inform his service to the state of Florida. Once again, Ron DeSantis has made a very solid appointment that will help to define his legacy as governor for years to come.”
Stemberger showcased the following quote from Luck.
“I understand how the judiciary — what Hamilton called our least dangerous branch — fits into our system of government,” Luck said. “Having worked in each of the three branches, I understand the modest role of the judge in reviewing the laws enacted by the legislature, the actions taken by the executive, and the findings of the lower courts… I have conducted myself that way for the last five years, and I will continue to do so as long as I am permitted to serve.”
William Large, the president of the Florida Justice Reform Institute and an ally to the business community in the fight against trial lawyers, also applauded the appointment.
“Governor DeSantis’ appointment of Justice Luck this morning as the 88th Justice to the Florida Supreme Court, following his appointment of Justice Lagoa last week, continues an impressive record of accomplishment in only the first few days of his administration,” Large said on Monday.
“Governor DeSantis’ actions are the mark of a leader determined to exert the executive’s constitutionally lawful check on the judicial branch of government,” Large added. “Justice Luck’s broad experience and legal acumen will serve the Court well. The Florida Justice Reform Institute applauds Governor DeSantis’ for his continued commitment to setting a new course for our Florida Supreme Court.”