When President Trump arrives in federal court in Miami on Tuesday afternoon, who will be the presiding judge?
The case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon. The Fort Pierce-based judge is a former federal prosecutor appointed by Trump in 2020.
Cannon was randomly assigned, selected from four South Florida federal judges.
Cannon has previously been implicated in the documents case. She has come under fire for her handling of Trump’s civil case challenging the FBI’s seizure of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Palm Beach estate. An appeals court overturned its rulings in favor of the former president in the dispute.
It’s not yet clear whether Cannon — who could handle Trump’s first appearance on Tuesday in Miami instead of a usual justice of the peace — will remain on the case.
Here are a few things to know about the judge, based on Miami Herald reporting over the past two years:
Aileen Cannon wrote about tomatoes and yoga in Miami
Before becoming a federal judge, Cannon served briefly as a reporter in Miami.
For a three-month period, Cannon’s work as an intern two decades ago was published in el Nuevo Herald.
On her court application, she listed, as requested, “the titles, publishers, and dates of any books, articles, reports, letters to the editor, editorials, or other published materials that you have written or edited, including documents published on the Internet”. Cannon listed 20 articles. Three were scholarly in nature and 17 were short news articles in the Summer 2002 el Nuevo Herald. energy”, “Prenatal yoga: a healthy alternative for Delivery.”
The day Cannon was confirmed on the bench
Aileen Cannon, who was born in Colombia and raised in Miami, was confirmed by the Senate to the federal bench in November 2022.
The 39-year-old Fort Pierce-based US assistant attorney was confirmed by a vote of 56 to 21, with 12 Democrats joining 44 Republicans in favor.
“SP. Cannon is a highly qualified individual and I am confident that she will serve the Southern District of Florida honorably,” Sen. Marco Rubio said at the time.
Cannon has worked in the US Attorney’s office since 2013 and previously spent three years in private practice.
Timeline of Cannon’s involvement in the Mar-a-Lago case
After Trump left, the National Archives and Records Administration attempted to retrieve all of the former president’s documents.
Cannon presided over a civil case after Trump’s attorneys filed a lawsuit. Lawyers asked him to appoint a special master to review confidential executive and attorney-client documents that may have been taken by FBI agents during the search of Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.
In 2002, Cannon called for the appointment of an independent expert to review documents – including classified government documents – seized by FBI agents. Three months later, a federal appeals court in Atlanta ruled that it should have considered his early legal concerns. A three-judge panel overturned her decision to appoint a “special master” because she lacked the authority to do so.
“The key point is that Judge Cannon had no jurisdiction to do anything here,” said Mark Schnapp, a former federal prosecutor and longtime Miami criminal defense attorney. “She attempted to assert fair jurisdiction [to appoint the special master], but his own opinion showed why his analysis was flawed. His opinion was torn to shreds by the Eleventh Circuit Court.
Cannon’s decision slowed the FBI’s criminal investigation into the former president. The Justice Department appealed its decision and won a major court victory, allowing its investigation into the classified documents case to move forward at full speed.
Who is Aileen Cannon?
▪ Staff: Born in Cali, Colombia, raised in Miami by a Cuban mother and an Indian father.
▪ Policy: A member of the conservative Federalist Society for nearly two decades and was recruited as a federal judge by Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio.
▪ Education: Graduated from Ransom Everglades in Coconut Grove and then Duke University, spending a semester in Spain. She also graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School.
▪ Carrier start: Served as a clerk for the United States Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in Des Moines, Iowa, and later landed a job at the famed Washington law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. In 2013, she was hired as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami, where she first worked in the major crimes sections, then transferred to the convictions and conviction appeals section. Then she was transferred to the Fort Pierce office.
▪ Family: She settled in the Vero Beach area with her husband, Josh Lorence, an executive at Bobby’s Burgers, celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s fast-casual restaurant chain. They have two children.