Photo: Tom Tracy/Florida Catholic
President Trump announced Saturday that his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court will be a woman.
At least two prominent women who have been mentioned — Amy Coney Barrett and Barbara Lagoa — are Catholic. There are six Catholics on the court right now (if you include Neil Gorsuch, who was raised Catholic but now worships as an Episcopalian.)
Lagoa is a Cuban American from Florida — which, as one report noted, could have interesting political implications this close to the election.
Last year, Lagoa spoke about her Catholic faith:
Speaking at the annual dinner reception of the Broward County-based St. Thomas More Society Sept. 26, a Miami native and member of the Florida Supreme Count explored what it means to be a “Catholic lawyer.”
“My Catholic education instilled in me an abiding faith in God that has grounded me and sustained me through the highs and lows of life,” said Justice Barbara Lagoa, who was recently nominated by President Donald Trump to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. She currently serves on the Florida Supreme Court.
Justice Lagoa grew up in Hialeah, where she attended Immaculate Conception School and then Msgr. Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1989 from Florida International University.
Mentioning that Miami’s second archbishop, Edward McCarthy, holds a special place in her heart, Justice Lagoa held up a picture of him presenting her with a high school diploma.
Justice Lagoa then asked her audience: Can one be a strong advocate for one’s client and still be a Catholic?
“It is more than going to Mass every Sunday, and to me at least, it means having a personal relationship with God that in turn informs how we treat others,” she said.
She noted that the Oath of Admission to the Florida Bar was amended in 2011. It now requires that lawyers swear fairness, integrity and civility not only in court but in all pertinent written and oral communications.
“I suggest that in order to be a good Catholic advocate, one should start with St. Thomas More,” the justice said of the English-born lawyer and of the Red Mass tradition. Red Masses are held every year for legal professionals around the world.