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Category archives for: Civil Rights

Continuing Series of Voting-Rights Decisions, Judge Rules Against State on Disputed Ballot Signatures

| October 17, 2016

The 30-page ruling Sunday by U.S. District Judge Mark Walker focused on situations in which voters’ signatures submitted with mail-in ballots do not appear to match signatures on file with county supervisors of elections. Under a 2004 law, such mail-in ballots are rejected.

Overruling Scott, Judge Orders Voter Registration Deadline Extended at Least Through Wednesday

| October 11, 2016

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker also set up a Wednesday morning hearing to consider a request by the Florida Democratic Party to keep registration open until Oct. 18 — a week after the initial deadline was set to pass.

Early Voting Facts and Myths

| September 25, 2016

Research shows early voting increases turnout by 2 percent to 4 percent. In some cases, it particularly boosts voting among minorities, a constituency that tends to vote Democrat.

The National Anthem’s False Notes

| September 9, 2016

Blasphemous as it seems, Colin Kaepernick’s freedom to sit out the Star Spangled Banner is written in the anthem’s very words, though his tormentors are more disturbed by his message, which they would rather not hear.

My Mother, Stopped for Driving While Black

| August 7, 2016

The mistreatment of black people by police officers isn’t new, nor is it surprising, argues Milen Mehari. According to the Justice Department, black people are almost four times more likely than whites to experience the use of force during police encounters.

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Why North Carolina’s New Anti-LGBT Law is a Trojan Horse That Kills Workers’ Rights

| April 9, 2016

Another provision banned local minimum wage laws like the $15-an-hour “living wage” ordinances gaining traction around the country. The state minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

A Bunnell Man Is Falsely Arrested Over Name Error, and Case Proceeds Despite Corrections

| April 1, 2016

In a nightmare of the persistence of bureaucratic errors, Dakota Ward, 19, who’s never been in trouble, was confused with another man and falsely arrested on a battery charge last week. His case is still proceeding.

Declaring 2008 Amendment Unconstitutional, Judge Closes Book on Gay-Marriage Ban in Florida

| March 31, 2016

In a harshly worded ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle chastised state officials like Pam Bondi for reluctance in acknowledging that the Florida ban had been overturned

Flagler County Supportive of Broadening Discrimination Protection in Housing for LGBT

| March 23, 2016

Barbara Revels, who chairs the county commission, is proposing an amendment to a housing ordinance to extend non-discrimination protection to individuals for sexual orientation.

Sheriff Applauds New Law Regulating Police Authority to Seize Cash and Property

| March 17, 2016

“Civil asset forfeiture” is a controversial practice that gives police authority to seize cash, cars, homes or pother property suspected of use in a crime even absent an arrest. Florida just reformed the law to make forfeiture more difficult and accountable.

Florida Court Clears Way for 24-Hour Waiting Period Before an Abortion

| February 28, 2016

Florida joins 27 other states with waiting periods. Opponents say the law would impose hardships on women seeking abortions because it would force them to miss work, lose wages and pay for additional child care and travel.

Bathroom Use By Transgenders Scuttles Bill Designed to End LGBT Discrimination

| February 9, 2016

The anti-discrimination bill is backed by big business such as Disnet and AT&T but opposed by social conservatives such as Florida Family Policy Council.

Florida’s “Pastor Protection Act” Seen as Defense of Clergy or Latest Bias Against LGBT

| January 31, 2016

The proposal, which was approved this week by a Senate committee, would prevent clergy members from being forced to perform marriage ceremonies contrary to their beliefs.

Sheriff Manfre Proposes De-Criminalizing Pot Possession; County Officials and State Attorney Open to Idea

| January 22, 2016

Following in the steps of three Florida counties and some 20 states, Sheriff Jim Manfre wants to replace criminal penalties for small amounts of pot with civil fines. State Attorney R.J. Larizza and county officials are willing to explore the new approach.

Florida House Wants to Prohibit Immigrants’ “Sanctuary” Communities

| January 13, 2016

Despite emotional pleas from immigrant advocates, state House members Wednesday moved forward with measures aimed at cracking down on cities and counties that provide “sanctuary” for undocumented immigrants and increasing penalties for people who defy deportation orders.

Two Sweeping Supreme Court Cases Set to Redefine Abortion and Contraceptive Rights

| January 10, 2016

As devastating to abortion rights as 2015 proved to be in state legislatures, 2016 is shaping up to be even more turbulent — perhaps the most momentous year for reproductive issues in a generation.



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