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Rights & Liberties
Category archives for: Rights & Liberties

Bi-Partisan Lawmakers Looking to Expunge Criminal Records of Non-Violent Juveniles

| February 27, 2015

An Orlando Senator is sponsoring a bill that would allow the expunging of records for minors who commit nonviolent misdemeanors and go on to complete diversion programs.

As FAA Issues Rules, New Palm Coast Drone Company Beguiles Realtors and Others

| February 23, 2015

CAVU Aerial Photography, a drone company in Palm Coast since August, has been showing Realtors, communications companies and others the many uses of drone technology, which is expected to boom with the FAA’s new, more permissive rules.

When Your Armed Neighbor Comes
Knocking: Guns and Muslims in Chapel Hill

| February 22, 2015

What kind of country do we live in, where it’s legal for a man to bring a weapon to a noise complaint? Or a parking dispute? Mitchell Zimmerman confronts the Chapel Hill killings of three Muslims.

Lily Sara, Humanitarian and Founder of
La Voix de La Femme Libanaise, 1929-2014

| February 21, 2015

Lily Sara, one of Lebanon’s leading humanitarians and founder of La Voix de La Femme Libanaise–the Voice of the Lebanese Woman–died in Beirut on Dec. 10, 2014. Testimonies and eulogies were offered on Dec. 13.

Appeal Court Upholds Florida’s Ban on Open-Carry, But Case Appears Headed For Supremes

| February 18, 2015

Dale Norman, a resident of St. Lucie County, was arrested at gunpoint for carrying an openly visible handgun in a holster, on his hip. Florida Carry Inc. took his case and has been fighting his conviction since.

Florida Justices Halt Execution Until U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Lethal Injection

| February 17, 2015

Saying it must “err on the side of extreme caution” or risk threatening the “viability of Florida’s entire death penalty scheme,” the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday halted the Feb. 26 execution of a convicted killer until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a lethal injection drug.

Senate Panel Easily Clears Bill Granting Secrecy to Top College and University Job Applicants

| February 17, 2015

The Senate Higher Education Committee voted 7-2 to approve the measure (SB 182), which would exempt information about applicants for the jobs of president, provost or dean from the state’s open-records laws.

Is Your Facebook Account Private After You Die? Senate Bill Says Not So Fast.

| February 12, 2015

Florida Sen. Dorothy Hukill wants to permit online account access after an account holder has died. The Act seeks to open the book on our digital lives, even after we have uploaded to the great cloud in the sky, writes Peter Schorsch.

Net Neutrality’s Biggest Deal: Proposed FCC Rule Would Keep Internet Open

| February 11, 2015

If the FCC ignores big cable and communications companies’ pressure and approves the rules, it would be one of the greatest public policy victories in decades, argue Matt Wood and Candace Clement.

A Strip-Club Sin Tax That Also Takes Names? This Conservative Says No And No.

| February 5, 2015

Florida lawmakers are considering a measure that would charge a $10 surtax on sex-club patrons and require the business to keep a database of customers. Nancy Smith says no.

Don’t Expect Supreme Court’s Latest Review of Lethal Injection to Kill Death Penalty

| February 5, 2015

States changed from hanging to electric chair because it was a modern, supposedly painless method of execution. Botched executions have rendered that assumption problematic.

Inmate Asks Florida Justices to Block Execution Pending Supremes’ Ruling on Lethal Injection

| January 30, 2015

Attorneys for condemned killer Jerry William Correll filed an emergency petition as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of a sedative that is the first drug administered during a three-step process in executions.

For Black Students in Flagler Schools, Some Progress But “Systemic Bias” and Startling Disparities Persist

| January 27, 2015

Amir Whittaker, a staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, presented a report card on the school district’s treatment of black students, acknowledging some progress but pointing out enduring racism, especially in suspensions.

8 Weeks After FSU Shooting, House Panel Approves Concealed Guns on Florida Campuses

| January 21, 2015

Currently, people are banned from carrying such weapons at Florida colleges and universities, with the exception of stun guns or similar devices. Data show that 246,632 Floridians between the ages of 21 and 35 have concealed carry permits.

Supreme Court May Invalidate Fair Housing Provision Cities Use to Combat Segregation

| January 21, 2015

The Supreme Court has been weakening many civil rights protections for decades. It appears on the verge of gutting the Fair Housing Act. It hears arguments in a case today that will be decided by the end of June.

Florida Prison Ban on Beards Violates Muslim Inmates’ Religious Rights, Supreme Court Rules

| January 20, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Florida and six other states could not ban inmates from growing beards for religious reasons. The case originated in Arkansas.

Legal Aid For Poorer Floridians Diminishing, Commission Starts Work on Seeking Fair Fix

| January 18, 2015

With Gov. Scott opposed to moire funding, the 27-member Florida’s Commission on Access to Civil Justice will have to figure out how to provide additional funding for civil legal aid without simply asking for money from state legislators.

When Bigots Hide Behind Religious Freedom

| January 16, 2015

Kelvin Cochran, the former Atlanta fire chief, and his supporters, are using the veil of religious freedom to justify homophobic and bigoted views that have no place in the workplace.

At Hemming Park, Jacksonville Evolves From Axe Handle Saturday To Civil Rights Saturday

| January 15, 2015

Jacksonville filled Hemming Park with racial hatred and violence 55 years ago. But January 10, 2015 was a celebration of love as it became the location of a series of gay marriages, writes Julie Delegal.

A Muslim Cartoonist on the Charlie Hebdo Massacre: Shame, Fear, But Mostly Hope

| January 13, 2015

Cartoonist Khalil Bendib, an American Muslim and native of Algeria who’s known his share of censorship and death threats, writes of grief and human solidarity in the wake of the attack.

Light Up Again: John Morgan Files Medical Pot Amendment Language For 2016 Ballot

| January 11, 2015

The revamped measure clarifies that doctors cannot order medical marijuana for children without their parents’ approval and clears up ambiguity about what diseases would make patients eligible for medical-marijuana treatment.

Florida Lawmakers Seek Secrecy For College and University Searches and Vetting of Candidates

| January 11, 2015

Pointing to the possibility of a “chilling effect” if word gets out, a House bill filed Friday would allow information to be kept confidential about people applying to become presidents, provosts or deans of state universities or colleges.

Standing With Charlie Hebdo:
The Right and Duty to Offend

| January 8, 2015

We should celebrate differences of opinion. We have no duty to embrace differences of principles, and in many cases—and this is one of them—we must oppose them, angrily and militantly if need be.

Four Gay Couples Get Marriage Licenses at Flagler Courthouse in Quietly Momentous End to Long-Standing Prejudice

| January 6, 2015

It was a quiet but significantly historic day at the Flagler County Courthouse as Florida’s ban on marriage equality ended across the state Tuesday and couples celebrated the issuance of same-sex marriage licenses ahead of marriage ceremonies after the three-day waiting period.

First Gay Marriages in Florida Are Celebrated as Miami-Dade Recognizes Two Couples

| January 5, 2015

With same-sex marriages ready to start Tuesday across the state, a circuit judge allowed gay couples to go ahead and begin getting married Monday in Miami-Dade County.

Education or Exploitation? When a Patient’s Death is Broadcast Without Permission

| January 4, 2015

Ethicists say medical reality shows exploit patients’ pain for public consumption, but their makers argue that they educate viewers and inspire people to choose careers in medicine.

In a Reversal, Florida Court Clerks’ Lawyers Say Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Must Be Issued

| January 2, 2015

The reversal from the association’s lawyers should remove the last roadblock to gay marriage starting in Florida, though some clerks say they’ll refuse to perform ceremonies.

Federal Judge Orders Florida Clerks to Issue Gay-Marriage Licenses Across Florida Starting Tuesday

| January 1, 2015

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle warned that clerks of court who refuse to comply with the ruling expose themselves to be a party to the suit, allowing successful plaintiffs to recover costs and attorneys’ fees.

As Lawyers Duel, Meet the Interracial Gay Cowboys at Heart of Florida’s Gay-Marriage Quest

| December 30, 2014

Stephen Schlairet and Ozzie Russ are a typical couple in many ways. They finish each other’s sentences, and reminisce over a photo album of their commitment ceremony nearly 15 years ago.

2014 In Review: For Florida, A Year of Same-Olds More Than Change

| December 27, 2014

State government from the governor on down is virtually unchanged, with all major figures and almost all incumbent senators winning reelection, but gay marriage and some legalized marijuana suggest some change for the state.

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