An immigrant blocked from ascending to Florida’s highest court by a Democrat-initiated lawsuit was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court Friday by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Renatha Francis was born in Jamaica and legally immigrated in 2004. She graduated from Florida Coastal Law School in 2010.
“I’m incredibly honored and humbled by this appointment to continue my service to the people of our great state of Florida,” Francis said, according to Fox News. “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.”
WATCH – “I stand before you as the epitome of the American dream… I grew up from a mom who never finished High School… She made up for it all with grit, determination, faith, and hard work. Those values are reflected in me as a small business owner.”https://t.co/F1JZATIeNO
— The First (@TheFirstonTV) August 5, 2022
“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.
Her dream had been deferred in 2020 when DeSantis first appointed her, but the appointment was blocked because she had not been a member of the bar for 10 years at the time of the appointment.
Gov. DeSantis Appoints Renatha Francis to the Florida Supreme Court https://t.co/087XutcTKo
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 5, 2022
As noted by the Federalist Society, of which Francis is a member, Francis joined the bar on September 24, 2010.
DeSantis announced his nomination of her on May 26, 2020, just four months shy of the legal minimum requirement.
“We had someone file a lawsuit to try and keep her off the court because they said she can’t be appointed until she reaches the 10-year mark,” DeSantis said, according to Politico. “It was disappointing … it was all politics, it was not anything based in principle.”
Democratic state Rep. Geraldine Thompson filed the lawsuit in 2020, and said she still believes Francis is not qualified.
“Floridians lack confidence in the courts because they see that people are being appointed based on a political agenda rather than knowledge of the law and fitness,” she said. “It’s disturbing.”
DeSantis saw it differently.
“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,” he said.
Francis said she believes in applying the law “as written” and that this philosophy is “essential to preserving liberty.”
Congratulations to Florida’s new Supreme Court Justice. Governor DeSantis has appointed Judge Renatha Francis, and she will be on the state’s highest Court starting in the beginning of September. https://t.co/t8w9Su0w8Z
— Christina Pushaw (@ChristinaPushaw) August 5, 2022
“I may be taking my seat on the bench two years later than anticipated, but as a student of history I continue to be in awe of this country’s respect for the rule of law and the freedoms guaranteed in the text of the United States Constitution,” she said, according to WPBF-TV.
“As a Supreme Court Justice I will apply the law as written by the people’s duly-elected representatives, knowing that I am a member of the judiciary in a system with separation of powers,” she said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.