UF Supreme Court Appoints Britney Deas as First Black Female Chief Justice

Britney Deas, a 25-year-old Haitian University of Florida (UF) Levin College of Law student from Miami, is the first Black woman selected as chief justice of the UF Supreme Court. The introduction of Deas’ new role coincides with Black History Month, emphasizing the significance of honoring Black History daily.

“Black history is American history,” Deas told The Independent Florida Alligator.”It’s important to know where you come from so you can know where you’re going.”

Deas began his tenure as an associate justice on the UF Supreme Court in the spring of 2023. She intended to become Chief Justice in the fall of 2024. She has recently begun her time as Chief Justice, which carries extra responsibilities. Despite having a lot of work ahead of her, she considers this one of the most memorable events of her time at UF Law because she created history.

As chief justice, she wishes to carry on her objective of serving the people. Her responsibilities include supervising hearings and acting as the primary point of contact for any documents submitted for assessment. She, along with the four associate judges, hears appeals, ensures impartiality, and resolves disputes brought before the court.

She was the first Black woman to hold the position of student body president at the University of South Florida (USF), and the first in 20 years. In her freshman year, she joined student government as a street teamer, a volunteer position that piqued students’ interest in SG. After that, she was elected to the Senate and named Senator of the Year.

Deas, who studied at the University of South Florida, has begun to plan for her time as Chief Justice. These include putting together a law school checklist for prospective undergraduate students, holding a panel discussion with constitutional law experts, and asking Florida judges, attorneys, and public defenders to speak about their professional experiences.

The Gainesville resident, who comes from an immigrant family, stated, “I’ve always been inspired by women fighting oppression and standing up for people who can’t stand up for themselves.” I watched it at home with my grandma, great grandmother, and mother.

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