Two Trump-Appointed 11th Circuit Judges Who Sat on Florida Supreme Court When It Heard Oral Argument Over Meaning of Florida Disenfranchisement Amendment Won’t Recuse in Disenfranchisement Case Current Before the 11th Circuit

Here is the order. The judges left the Florida court before it issued the opinion, and the judges claim that the cases are not related enough to merit recusal.

Mark Joseph Stern made the case earlier that this is wrong:

The Florida Supreme Court held oral arguments on the matter, in which Lagoa and Luck energetically participated. Lagoa was particularly combative: Sounding more like an advocate than a jurist, she repeatedly argued that voters understood the amendment to encompass court fines and fees. At one point, she even read aloud a Miami Herald op-ed that allegedly supported her position. “I have reams here of op-ed pieces and editorials from different papers all over the state of Florida,” Lagoa proclaimed, “that made it clear” the amendment included fines and fees.

But neither Lagoa and Luck ever formally ruled in the case. They joined the 11th Circuit shortly before the Florida Supreme Court handed down its decision in January declaring that the state constitution permitted a poll tax on ex-felons. Nonetheless, both judges almost certainly discussed the case with their colleagues and voted on the outcome. Moreover, one or both judges may have participated in the initial stages of drafting the opinion.

Seems to me that the appearance of impropriety would be enough to justify removal, but I am not a legal ethics expert.

Share this: