Jamaican-born judge Renatha Francis makes history being appointed to Florida’s state Supreme Court

Renatha Francis

Jamaican-born Renatha Francis was appointed today by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to the state’s Supreme Court.

“Judge Francis’ story demonstrates that anyone who comes to United States has an opportunity to make the most of their God-given talents,” said Governor DeSantis. “Before immigrating to Florida, she ran two businesses and served as the primary caregiver for a younger sibling in Jamaica. After completing her law degree, she advanced to serve on the Miami-Dade County and then the 15th circuit court. Starting in September, she will serve as the first Jamaican-American to sit on the Florida Supreme Court and I know she will serve our state well.”

“I’m incredibly honored and humbled by this appointment and in the confidence that Governor DeSantis has shown by giving me this tremendous opportunity to serve the people of the great state of Florida,” said Judge Renatha Francis. “As a student of history growing up, I was and remain in awe of the United States Constitution, its freedoms and its respect for the rule of law. I look forward to applying the law as written by the people’s duly-elected representatives as I serve at the highest level of our state judiciary

Francis currently serves as Judge for the 15th Circuit Court in 2019 and previously served as Judge for the Miami-Dade County Court in 2017. Francis also served as an attorney for the 1st DCA in Tallahassee from 2011-2017. Before attending law school, Francis owned and successfully operated two businesses for five years.

Before moving to Miami from Jamaica, Francis attended St. Hugh’s High School and Bridgeport Primary. Francis received a BA from the University of the West Indies and a law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law in 2010. In law school, Francis excelled in moot court, winning several national competitions argued before federal judges and state supreme court justices. She is credited with personally raising her law school’s ranking from sixteenth to third. She and her husband Phillip are the parents of two sons, one of which was born recently. Francis will officially join the Supreme Court on September 24, 2020.

Judge Renatha Francis was one of the two appointees, with the second being Miami lawyer John Couriel. Here is here acceptance speech.