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DeSantis announces Florida Supreme Court justice nominee Renatha Francis

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida on Friday appointed Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Renatha Francis to the state’s highest court.

Francis was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court as a replacement for Justice Al Lawson, whom DeSantis applauded for his decades of service.

“I’m incredibly honored and humbled by this appointment to continue my service to the people of our great state of Florida,” Francis said. “I know I’ve said this before on prior occasions, but I have to say it again — I stand before you as the epitome of the American Dream.”

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Francis was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the U.S. in 2004. She graduated from Florida Coastal Law School in 2010.

“I’m humbled that I get to be a part of this great American experiment, and to serve at the highest level of our state judiciary. The Florida Supreme Court protects the people’s liberty, and inherent in the way that we do that as a judiciary is by respecting and observing the limited role that our judges play in our Constitutional system of government,” Francis said.

DeSantis previously attempted to appoint Francis to the same position in 2020, but was blocked by a lawsuit pointing out she had not met the requirement of being on the Florida Bar for a decade.

Instead, the role was given to Judge Jamie Grosshans.

DeSantis emphasized that when the time again came to choose a candidate for the Florida Supreme Court, he decided to start with a clean slate. However, despite the crowded field, he once again landed on Francis as his preferred judge. 

Renatha Francis, a Palm Beach County circuit judge, gives remarks after being appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, right, to the Florida Supreme Court during a news conference in downtown Miami on May 26, 2020.

“Judge Renatha Francis has an incredible life story that epitomizes the American dream and proves that those who come to our country have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and, through hard work and the application of their God-given talents, reach the highest heights of whatever field they choose,” said the governor.

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In separate news, DeSantis suspended liberal State Attorney Andrew Warren on Thursday.

The governor made the announcement during a press conference broadcast on social media. DeSantis argued that Warren has repeatedly refused to enforce laws passed by the legislature cracking down on child sex change surgeries and abortion restrictions.

“We are suspending Soros-backed 13th circuit state attorney Andrew Warren for neglecting his duties as he pledges not to uphold the laws of the state,” DeSantis’ office said in a statement. The 13th circuit falls over Florida’s Hillsborough County.

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