Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Third District Court of Appeal Judge Robert J. Luck on Monday to the Florida Supreme Court bench, and he was sworn in at his children’s school in North Miami Beach.
DeSantis stood behind Luck’s right shoulder at the Scheck Hillel Community School as the judge spoke after the ceremony. Luck noted he is the first Jewish justice to be named to Florida’s high court in over 20 years and commended the new governor for his support for Israel when DeSantis served in the U.S. House.
Luck “writes so well. He was born to be a judge. There’s just no doubt about it,” DeSantis said after the ceremony.
Luck said, “I have taken an oath to make the Constitution, and not the judiciary, supreme.” He said he hoped to serve on the high court “God willing for the next 35 years,” reflecting the state’s mandatory judicial retirement age. He ended with a Jewish prayer for wisdom.
Luck, 39, was appointed in 2017 by then-Gov. Rick Scott after serving in the Miami-Dade Circuit Court. Before rising to the bench, Luck served as an assistant U.S. attorney for five years in the Southern District of Florida, where he handled appeals, major crimes and economic crimes.
Luck also worked as a legislative correspondent for two U.S. senators and law clerk to Judge Edward E. Carnes on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He is a double Gator with bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Florida.
Luck will fill the second of three vacancies left last week by retired Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince and R. Fred Lewis.
“What a great day for Florida,” said Holland & Knight partner Wifredo Ferrer, who supervised Luck almost four years with Luck as U.S. attorney in Miami.
Ferrer described Luck as brilliant and witty — a judge who exudes integrity but doesn’t take himself too seriously.
“Depite all of his talents, he is one of the most humble human beings that you’ll ever run across,” Ferrer said. “He calls it as he sees it and is not someone who will ever make any decision based on anything other than the facts and the law.”
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody welcomed Luck’s appointment, reflecting on their service together as circuit judges.
“Personally, I am excited about Justice Luck’s appointment,” Moody said in a statement. ”I know he will be a vigilant guardian of freedom and separation of powers.”
Luck’s wife Jennifer, son, daughter and parents attended the ceremony, and he thanked them by name.
DeSantis announced fellow Third DCA Judge Barbara Lagoa as his first pick for the high court last week and will appoint one more justice in the coming days.
“In this case, there are great, great candidates,” DeSantis said of his two South Florida appointees. “They were all stellar.”
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