R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. was forced to pay tens of millions of dollars to the families of dead smokers, part of a flood of tobacco litigation moving through Florida’s courts, and the first of their kind to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
Florida Supreme Court
The Florida Supreme Court in recent months has split by a 5-2 margin on a series of cases, with Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justice Ricky Polston siding together and offering conservative — and sometimes-stinging — dissents.
An 8-7 ruling by the First District Court of Appeals overturned the state’s effort to stop the lawsuit and may lead to a momentous decision by the Florida Supreme Court interpreting the state’s responsibility to adequately pay for education under the Florida Constitution.
Clearing the way for executions by lethal injection, a unanimous Florida Supreme Court ruled invalid death row inmate Manuel Valle’s objection to pentobarbital, one of the three drugs used to put inmates to sleep–and to euthanize animals.
In a stinging rebuke of Gov. Rick Scott’s interpretation of his powers, the Florida Supreme Court, in a 5-2 ruling, declared the governor’s attempt to blunt and circumvent state agency rule-making invalid.
Full text of the Florida Supreme Court’s 5-2 decision in Whiley v. Scott. The opinion was unsigned.
The Florida Supreme Court this week rejected four appeals by tobacco companies fighting verdicts ranging from $3.35 million in Escambia t $1575 million in Alachua, each including R.J. Reynolds. The companies plan to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In oral arguments today, justices seemed unconvinced by the case of a blind woman on food stamps. The case speaks to Scott’s rule-making power–and where the Legislature’s power ends.
The proposed constitutional amendment would create a criminal and civil supreme court, change the way justices are picked and the way the judicial system is funded, but the idea may be dying.
Citing “misleading and ambiguous language,” the court rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned mandated federal health insurance in Florida.