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Category archives for: Rights & Liberties

Florida’s Only Openly Gay Lawmaker Describes a Rick Scott More Accepting of LGBT

| July 28, 2016

In the days after 49 people were killed at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Gov. Rick Scott privately expressed some support for gay rights to the state’s only openly gay state lawmaker, David Richardson.

Appeals Court Upholds Red-Light Cameras But Urges Florida Supreme Court to Rule Decisively

| July 27, 2016

A court upheld Aventura’s program, which relies on police, not the private contractor, to make decisions about ticketing motorists. But the court wants the supreme court to decide the issue more finally.

In Bunnell, 100 Black Marchers Chant for “All Lives,” For Unity, But Also For Looking Inward

| July 17, 2016

The Black Lives Matter-themed march Sunday evening around Bunnell was itself a display of the harmony it called for, though it clearly didn not get participation from the county’s whiter surroundings.

Black Lives Matter. Period.

| July 16, 2016

Cops are owed all the appreciation and respect their profession commands. Blacks are owed their right to life. The two are not mutually exclusive, but certain differences matter, especially when they falsely paint cops as the victims and blacks as the aggressors.

Fershtay? Appeals Court Rules Florida May Not Halt Offering Kosher and Halal Meals to Prisoners

| July 15, 2016

Florida prison officials argued they had a right to stop offering kosher meals if they got too expensive. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals said no in a unanimous decision.

Flagler Judge Gives Pot Plan a Lift, But Council And Whiff of Politics Again Delay Adoption

| July 14, 2016

The proposal would reduce the penalty for first-time possession of pot to a $250 fine rather than a criminal charge, but it’ll be at least another month before the proposal gets out of a council, if then, and heads for approval (or rejection) by local governments.

Citing “Public Policy Interests,” Florida Refusing to Disclose Information on Drugs Used in Lethal Injections

| July 14, 2016

Lawyers representing seven Arizona Death Row inmates want information about the drugs used in Florida’s lethal-injection procedure, but corrections officials are asking a judge to keep the documents secret.

At Flagler NAACP Town Hall, Matters of Black Lives, “The Talk,” and the Gap Between Community and Policing

| July 13, 2016

A town hall organized by Flagler’s NAACP branch, with several top officials from the sheriff’s office, took stock of the recent police killings of black men and the killing of five white police officers in Dallas by a black veteran sniper.

Challenge to Florida’s DUI Breath Test May Be Moot After U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

| July 13, 2016

A majority of the U.S. Supreme Court said a law similar to Florida’s, in Minnesota, allowing breath tests for DUI, does not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches and seizures.

Proposal to De-Criminalize Pot Possession Again Teetering as Flagler Council Nears Verdict

| July 11, 2016

The Flagler Public Safety Coordinating Council decides Wednesday whether to recommend the de-criminalization proposal, but the reactions from palm Coast, Bunnell and Flagler Beach have been discouraging.

“I’m Putting My Faith In You,” Judge Tells Predator Granted Less Severe Probation Term

| July 6, 2016

Dorian Coppedge, 37, a Palm Coast resident designated a sex predator just last week, had been rendered homeless by a two-year sex-offender probation term, which Judge Matthew Foxman today agreed to alter to simple probation, thus possibly making Coppedge’s living arrangements less restrictive.

Data, Drones, Apps: Rush to Protect Privacy Raises Concerns Of Stifling Rights and Innovation

| July 4, 2016

As technology redefines the limits of privacy, some of the restrictions, such as those on drones and body cameras may infringe on free speech protections, and some may be smothering innovation.

The Stupidity of Race:
What My DNA Test Reveals

| July 3, 2016

Arab AND Jew? Greek? Italian? A DNA test unravels the ethnic origins of FlaglerLive Editor Pierre Tristam–and underscores the absurdity of making assumptions about anyone’s race, color or so-called origins.

Palm Coast Offender Branded a Sexual Predator 5 Years After Prison, With No New Sex Crime

| July 1, 2016

The sheriff’s office announced Thursday that Dorian Buzz Coppedge, 37, a “sexual predator,” is now living in Flagler, yet he’s lived here five years. Only his designation changed, even though he committed no new sex crime.

Siding With Planned Parenthood, Federal Judge Blocks Florida’s New, Restrictive Abortion Law

| July 1, 2016

The law would have barred abortion providers from receiving public funds for other services and required a dramatic increase in inspections of abortion records by health officials.

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.

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