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Category archives for: Federal Courts

Sheriff Manfre Faces Federal Lawsuit Over Unpaid Wages, Jeopardizing Raise for Troops

| November 8, 2014

Four ex-deputies have sued Sheriff Jim Manfre in federal court over briefings they were forced to attend without being paid, causing the Sheriff to shelve a 1 percent raise previously due the agency’s employees.

Federal Appeals Court Declares Scott Administration’s 2012 Voter Purge Illegal

| April 2, 2014

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments from Rick Scott’s administration that the effort to remove suspected non-citizens from the voting rolls did not violate a federal law barring wide-ranging efforts to cleanse those rolls within 90 days of an election.

Federal Lawsuit Against Palm Coast Code Enforcement Charges Search and Due Process Violations

| March 13, 2014

Linda Thomas, a retired attorney in Palm Coast, filed the lawsuit in federal district court, charging the city’s code enforcement division with violations of the 4th and 14th amendments. Flagler County circuit court in two rulings already found the code enforcement division had improperly and arbitrarily cited Thomas, but the court did not address constitutional issues.

Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down Scott’s Drug-Testing of State Workers as Too Broad

| May 29, 2013

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals declared an executive order by Riock Scott to drug-test 85,000 state employees and all job applicants as mostly unconstitutional, but left room for a lower court decision to be rewritten to allow for certain employees in certain categories to be drug tested–essentially restoring Florida’s drug-testing standard to what it was before the governor’s executive order.

In a Decision With Local Sway, Federal Court Upholds Prayers Before Government Meetings

| March 27, 2013

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over all of Florida, ruled that the Lakeland City Commission’s custom of opening meetings with a prayer was constitutional, though the court sidestepped the city’s focus on Christian prayers, and its closed door to atheists, agnostics, humanists or other non-clergy representatives.

Red-Light Cameras Draw Class-Action Lawsuit Citing Constitutional Violations

| October 28, 2011

If successful, the lawsuit would have far-reaching consequences as it seeks reimbursements for all ticket fines, which in Palm Coast exceed $1.35 million since 2008.

Federal Judge Calls Florida’s Drug-Testing Of Welfare Recipients Unconstitutional

| October 24, 2011

Judge Mary Scriven called Florida’s requirement that welfare recipients be drug-tested a violation of 4th Amendment protections against unreasonable searches, and dismissed claims that the law would save money.

Class-Action Lawsuit Calls Florida’s In-State College Tuition Restrictions Unconstitutional

| October 19, 2011

American citizens who’ve lived in Florida for years and have all the documents to prove it are denied in-state tuition rights the moment they can’t prove that their parents are lawful Florida residents–an unconstitutional form of discrimination against citizens, the Southern Poverty Law Center charges in the lawsuit.

Judge Throws Out Challenge to Fair District Amendment, Panicking Motley Incumbents

| September 9, 2011

Federal District Judge Ursula Ungaro rejected the argument that the anti-gerrymandering amendment allows voters to meddle in legislative redistricting. Weird alliances between incumbent Democrats and Republicans have formed to keep fighting the voter-approved amendment.

Federal Suit Filed Against Florida Law Requiring Drug Tests of Welfare Recipients

| September 7, 2011

The new law requires recipients of temporary cash assistance to pay $35 to $45 for a drug test first. The ACLU charges the law stigmatizes low-income people and amounts to a suspicionless search.

In a Florida Case, 2nd U.S. Appeals Court To Rule on Health Law Strikes It Down (It’s Now 1-1)

| August 12, 2011

A divided panel of the conservative 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, in a case from Florida, ruled health reform unconstitutional, saying it is “unprecedented, lacks cognizable limits and imperils our federalist structure.”

Dixie Check: Judge Orders Commandments Removed from County Courthouse Steps

| July 18, 2011

A businessman had paid for the 6-ton monument, but a judge said its message was a clear government endorsement of religion, violating the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Florida’s Death Penalty Ruled Unconstitutional

| June 22, 2011

Judge Jose Martinez, a George W. Bush appointee, relied on a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision barring judges from interpreting “aggravating factors” independent of juries’ explicit findings.

Flagler Sheriff Bans Inmates From Writing Or Receiving Personal Mail Other Than Postcards

| January 6, 2011

Citing savings and security, the sheriff is banning non-postcard correspondence beginning Jan. 15. The ban costs inmates money and chills their speech, a federal lawsuit filed over a similar policy in Santa Rosa County charges.

Health Care Reform Ruled Unconstitutional; Florida Judge’s Decision Up Next

| December 13, 2010

Monday’s ruling doesn’t stop the roll-out of federal health care reform. Two federal judges have previously ruled the law constitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court will settle the issue by 2012 or 2013.

Prosecutorial Impotence: How Bankers Crashed the System and Got Away With It

| December 8, 2010

The most popular reason offered for the dearth of financial crisis prosecutions is that the banking system was hit by a systemic and unforeseeable disaster, which means that it’s unlikely that anyone committed any crimes. Is it?

When Courts and the Justice Department Conceal, Deceive and Lie: A Gitmo Fabrication

| October 10, 2010

A U.S. District Court opinion about an Al-Qaeda suspect held at Guantanamo Bay’s Gitmo prison was removed from circulation and rewritten, revealing critical alterations and insights into the Justice Department’s elaborate deceptions, which undermine the credibility of the court system.

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