To the dismay of some in Miami’s elite legal circles, a divorce court judge with zero federal law enforcement experience is emerging as the front runner for the U.S. attorney’s position in South Florida, reports the Miami Herald. Thanks to the influence of Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ariana Fajardo Orshan has surfaced as the top candidate after months of dithering by President Trump and the Justice Department over filling the coveted position. Fajardo, a 46-year-old Cuban American who attended Florida International University, worked for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office after graduating from Nova Southeastern law school, but she has devoted most of her career to family legal matters. She currently serves as administrative judge for the county’s family law division, after Gov. Rick Scott appointed her in 2012 and she won election to the bench without opposition two years later.
Like Rubio, Scott is a major supporter of her nomination to become U.S. attorney of the 250-lawyer office. But her lack of stature in federal law enforcement concerns many in the office, one of the busiest in the country. Fajardo has been active in many professional organizations, but one stands out above the rest: the Federalist Society, an organization of conservatives who tout reforms of the legal system that hew to the original intent of the U.S. Constitution. The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is regarded as the group’s champion. Fajardo declined to comment about her candidacy. She was already interviewed by Justice Department officials and is expected in Washington for another round of interviews this week.