Jamaican-born judge appointed to Florida’s Supreme Court

A Palm Beach County circuit judge, originally from St Catherine, is one of two individuals from minority communities appointed to Florida’s Supreme Court on Tuesday (May 26).

Francis, second from left, looks on as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announces news of the appointment at a press conference.

Renatha Francis is the first Jamaican ever to be appointed to the Florida Supreme Court.  

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis publicised the appointment at a news conference in Miami.

Speaking at the news conference, DeSantis said that Judge Francis’ experience on the bench makes her well-equipped to be a great justice. 

Francis and the other appointee Cuban-born John Couriel are to replace outgoing the Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck.

Francis grew up in Portmore and attended St Hugh’s High School.

She later graduated from the University of the West Indies in 2001 and went on to study law at the Florida Coastal School of Law.

Francis is a trial judge at the 15th Circuit Court in Palm Beach, a position to which she was appointed to in 2019. 

Francis will take up her appointment later this year, as the state requires anyone appointed to the Supreme Court be a member of the Florida Bar for a minimum 10 years, Judge Francis will achieve this requirement come September 2020.