FL Supreme Court Justice Labarga Has Cancer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga has cancer and is expected to undergo kidney surgery.

Labarga made the announcement in a statement released Friday. He says he is scheduled to have a kidney removed this month.

The chief justice says doctors told him his prognosis is “very good after surgery.” The cancer was detected early through blood tests during a routine medical exam.

Labarga says doctors expect he’ll spend seven days in the hospital. He says he’ll resume his duties remotely as soon as possible after surgery.

Under Florida’s Rules of Judicial Administration, Justice Barbara J. Pariente will assume the role of acting chief justice because she has the longest service time.

Labarga became the state’s 56th chief justice and the first of Hispanic descent in 2014.