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Category archives for: Rights & Liberties

From DCF to Pam Bondi, Nothing But
Contempt for Florida’s Sunshine Law

| June 30, 2016

It’s been decades since Florida had an elected statewide official who paid much more than lip service to open government, and state and local agencies are taking advantage, showing more contempt than respect for the law, argues Florence Snyder.

New Report Doubles Estimate of Transgender People in U.S.; Florida’s Proportion Ranks 6th

| June 30, 2016

The estimate places Florida’s proportion of transgender people at almost 0.7 percent, for a total of 100,000 people, with the national proportion at 0.6 percent, for a total of 1.4 million.

Abortion Rights Mark Big Court Victory, But Effect on Florida Restrictions Unclear

| June 27, 2016

Florida supporters of recent laws requiring more stringent standards for abortion providers say the high court ruling should have no impact. Pending court challenges suggest otherwise.

Media and Orlando Go to Court Over City’s Censoring of Massacre’s 911 Calls

| June 23, 2016

The city of Orlando wants the court to help determine how to handle the unreleased portions of 911 emergency communications involving the June 12 massacre at the Pulse nightclub.

Gun In Hand, Tax Collector Johnston Heralds Fast-Track Concealed-Weapon Permitting

| June 22, 2016

Flagler County Tax Collector Suzanne Johnston took herself and most of her staff through a gun-safety class and shooting session at the range to prepare for her office’s new service: processing and fast-tracking concealed-weapons permits, starting today (June 22).

Salvaged by Revels’s Diplomacy, Pot-Decriminalization Proposal Will Now Seek Cities’ Approval

| June 21, 2016

The proposal would allow cops to issue civil citations to people caught with small amounts of marijuana, avoiding a criminal record. But its success depends on approval from all cities and the county commission, which is yet to come.

A Transgender Latina Teen Speaks: They’re Killing Us. Help Us Stop Them.

| June 20, 2016

Many Republicans invoked fears of international terrorism, but most said nothing about the members of our LGBTQ communities, who were the very targets and victims, writes Grace Dolan-Sandrino.

As Exceptionally American As It Gets

| June 17, 2016

Our mass shootings have developed their own set rituals and denials, none so lethal as the complicity with murder that blames the wrong targets while excusing guns.

For LGBT, Always That Target on Their Backs

| June 14, 2016

It turns out shooter Omar Marteen may have been motivated by both homophobia and Islamic radicalism. That should not come as a surprise, writes Nancy Smith.

Adam Putnam Says Orlando Mass Murderer Had Cleared All Legally Required Background Checks

| June 13, 2016

Putnam runs the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees weapons permits in Florida. The department hasn’t released Mateen’s application paperwork.

Donald Trump’s Fascism and His Appeasers

| June 10, 2016

Trump will fade. Trumpism may not. And the longer the Republican establishment is willing to appease him as a better alternative to Clinton, the more it legitimizes his racism as an acceptable American value.

Florida Justices Appear Skeptical in Challenge to Open-Carry Ban, Deferring to Legislature

| June 9, 2016

Justices Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince questioned how the current state law allowing citizens to receive concealed-weapons licenses to carry firearms suppresses gun ownership.

Florida Government’s Legal Bill For Fighting Same-Sex Marriage: $500,000

| June 2, 2016

The settlements came after U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled in April that the lawyers in the consolidated cases were entitled to the fees, and nearly two years after Hinkle first ruled that Florida’s voter-approved same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional.

Can You Be Punished For Refusing DUI Test? 2 Highest Courts About to Decide.

| May 31, 2016

Sept. 1 arguments before the Florida court on the question may be made moot by a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, expected in June, on the same issue. U.S. Justices were skeptical of breath tests.

Profiling By Computer in Florida: What Algorithmic Injustice Looks Like in Broward

| May 26, 2016

Courtrooms are using computer programs to predict who will be a future criminal, informing decisions from bail to sentencing. Meant to be fairer than human biases, one such program in Florida is particularly likely to falsely flag black defendants as future criminals, wrongly labeling them this way at almost twice the rate as white defendants.

Judge Rejects Sweeping Challenge to School System, But case May Head for Supreme Court

| May 25, 2016

A Leon County judge said lawmakers met their constitutional obligation to provide free, quality public education for Florida students, but advocates plan to appeal, laying the groundwork for a landmark opinion by the Florida Supreme Court.

Transgender Indecency

| May 24, 2016

There were pragmatic ways to ensure access to bathrooms for transgender people until lawmakers hijacked the process with predatory bans that dehumanize people and make a mockery of decency.

Are We Finally Ready For Smart Guns? Daytona’s iGuns Technologies Aims For Yes

| May 21, 2016

The iGun’s chip technology only works within centimeters and makes it impossible for anyone other than the person wearing the ring to fire it. Some gun advocates are resistant for various reasons.

Pressured to Defy Obama Order on Transgender Bathrooms, Scott and Bondi Stay Mum So Far

| May 19, 2016

Opponents of allowing transgender students to use restrooms of their choice could lead to a breakdown in school discipline or even attacks, supporters say there is no evidence of that.

Flagler’s Pot De-Criminalization Proposal Wilts, But Narrower Version Still Possible

| May 17, 2016

A work group meeting Tuesday to craft an ordinance raised more questions and objections than showed agreement, though the proposal is still moving forward in a much narrower version, and has many hurdles yet to cross.

Separate But Equal: Palm Coast Sidesteps Transgender Bathroom Bind With Private Facilities

| May 16, 2016

Palm Coast hopes to avoid the transgender-bathroom controversy by including private bathrooms in its $525,000 project for new facilities in Town Center and Indian Trails Sports Complex.

A Right To Die, Even For 20-Somethings

| May 15, 2016

The revelation that a 20-something woman chose to die from PTSD related so 10 years of sexual abuse tests the boundaries of assisted suicide, but not if context and compassion replace armchair judgments.

License for Probable Cause: Justices Rule You May Be Pulled Over For Any Visible Tag Issue

| May 13, 2016

Florida Justices, in a 5-2 decision, rejected an appeal from a driver stopped by Orlando police because a tag light and wires were hanging over the license plate on a vehicle he was driving.

South Florida Judge Declares State’s New Death Penalty Law Unconstitutional

| May 9, 2016

While the decision is not necessarily controlling in Flagler County and the rest of Florida, it again muddies the fate of a law barely eight weeks old, and further sheds a harsh light on Florida’s outlier system of executions.

For Flagler’s Gun Shops, New Residents Spur Brisk Business But Laws Conceal Debate

| May 9, 2016

Flagler County’s gun shop owners say fear and a need for protection rather than hunting still drives much of their business, but they have differing views on gun regulations and the need for additional laws.

Housing Restrictions on Sex Offenders Spread Even as Evidence Shows They Don’t Work

| May 7, 2016

The restrictions can make offenders’ lives less stable by severely limiting their housing options, and can push them away from family, jobs and social support — all of which make it more likely they will abuse again.

Florida’s Death Penalty Alive and Willed as Guzman Is Sentenced to Die For 3rd Time in Daytona

| May 3, 2016

A jury in Daytona Beach today voted 11-1 to recommend death for James “Chico” Guzman in the hacking to death of David Colvin, 48, at a motel on Ridgewood Avenue on Aug. 10, 1991.

No, Pat Mooney, Immigrants Aren’t Cattle

| April 29, 2016

Republican candidate Pat Mooney, running for the congressional seat that includes Flagler, managed to compare all Syrians to terrorists, all tourists and immigrants to cattle, and called for foreigners to be “chipped” and tracked the moment they enter the country.

In a Blow to Business, Supreme Court Bans Workers Comp Limits on Attorney’s Fees

| April 28, 2016

The ruling stemmed from a case in which an attorney was awarded the equivalent of $1.53 an hour in successfully pursuing a claim for benefits for a worker injured in Miami.

In Florida, Court Rules, a 55-Year Prison Sentence For a Juvenile Is Not a Life Term

| April 25, 2016

Anthony Julian Collins was two months shy of 17 when he was committed an attempted second-degree murder, carjacking with a firearm and attempted armed robbery.

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