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Category archives for: Rights & Liberties

Denying Voting Rights to Felons Should Be Beneath Us

| June 17, 2019

Who gets to vote should be driven by citizenship, the spirit of the United States Constitution and all America stands for, not by blowhardism and dirty tricks, argues Nancy Smith.

Facing Up to 50 Years in Prison for Raping Autistic Girl, Sex Offender Gets Probation. Court Delays Release: He Has No Place To Live.

| June 17, 2019

Sam Christopher Andolina, 39, was charged with raping and molesting a 13-year-old autistic girl in Palm Coast. He is to be sentenced to 10 years’ probation, but his sentence is being delayed for having no place to live locally.

Bunnell’s Mean Streak

| June 16, 2019

The city that calls itself the crossroads of Flagler County is losing its bearings, its heart, and sometimes its mind–over the homeless, over panhandlers, over the sheriff’s office. It is becoming petty. It is becoming mean and resentful, and discriminatory.

Does Flagler Beach Have a Panhandling Problem? Not Exactly, But City Will Consider New Rules.

| June 13, 2019

The Flagler Beach City Commission this evening will discuss adopting an ordinance against “aggressive” panhandling at the urging of City Commissioner Eric Cooley, a business owner in town.

DeSantis Signs Death Warrant of Homophobic Serial Killer Gary Bowles

| June 12, 2019

Gary Bowles murdered six people in 1994. He is serving life sentences in the murders of John Roberts in Daytona Beach and Albert Morris in Nassau County, and is being killed for the murder of Walter Hinton in Jacksonville.

Good News: Straight People Don’t Need a Pride Parade

| June 11, 2019

Organizers of the “straight pride parade” in Boston this summer have ties to numerous far-right groups. Here are conditions that would make such a parade easier to embrace.

Attorney General Moody To Supreme Court on Death Row Inmates: Let ‘Em Die

| June 9, 2019

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office is urging the Florida Supreme Court to reverse course on decisions that allowed dozens of convicted murderers to have their death sentences reconsidered.

Let Prison Inmates Vote

| June 4, 2019

In the era of mass incarceration, forbidding inmate voting, disenfranchising them after release, and counting them as residents where they’re imprisoned are all components of prison gerrymandering.

Floridians Have a Right To Access Medical Malpractice Records. Shands Sues to Prevent That.

| May 30, 2019

Under Florida law, patients have the right to access adverse medical incident reports, which can play an important role in malpractice cases. UF Health Jacksonville says federal privacy law trumps Florida’s constitutional amendment.

Trump Against the First Amendment

| May 30, 2019

Julian Assange and Wikileaks are giving Trump a chance to challenge First Amendment freedoms of the press and get a radical ruling from his new buddies on the Supreme Court.

Laws Restricting Abortion Betray a Judgment: Women’s Sexuality Is Not Equal to Men’s

| May 29, 2019

Men regulating women’s bodies through restrictive abortion laws is the tip of an iceberg in which women’s sexuality is stigmatized, de-legitimized, silenced, controlled, and misunderstood, even by women themselves.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking To Block Florida Cabinet From Meeting in Israel, Out of Sunshine

| May 28, 2019

The lawsuit, filed by the First Amendment Foundation and four major news organizations, accused the governor and Cabinet members of “willfully violating the law.”

Supreme Court Reverses Course on Expert Witnesses, Signaling Continued Shift Right

| May 26, 2019

In a move that left little doubt about the new direction of the Florida Supreme Court, justices on Thursday reversed a controversial 2017 decision about the testimony of expert witnesses in lawsuits.

End This Hidden Risk to Military Families

| May 23, 2019

The Feres Doctrine shields military medical providers from malpractice suits by troops — and their dependents. Military recruiters never tell the families that it applies to them, too.

Bruce Haughton Is Found Guilty of Assisted Suicide in Death of Katherine Goddard in R-Section

| May 22, 2019

Bruce Haughton, 54, and Katherine Goddard, 52, his girlfriend of 16 years, attempted to jointly kill themselves in their Palm Coast home’s garage in 2017. She died. He lived. Then he was criminally charged.

The Most Dangerous Time For Women’s Rights in Decades

| May 21, 2019

More than 250 bills restricting abortions have been filed in 41 states this year. At least a third have successfully passed 20-week abortion bans, based on the unfounded assertion that a fetus can feel pain 20 weeks after fertilization. 

In Rare Assisted Suicide Trial in Flagler, Jurors Weigh Sympathy For Desperation Against an Unforgiving Law

| May 20, 2019

Bruce Horton, 54, became an accused criminal when he failed to die along with Katherine Goddard in Palm Coast’s R-Section two years ago as the two had made a pact to die together. He’s on trial this week.

With Conservatives In Control of Supreme Court, A 2016 Decision Reducing Death Sentences Is In Jeopardy

| May 20, 2019

The court has begun the process of reconsidering whether changes to Florida’s death penalty-sentencing system should continue being applied retroactively to cases dating to 2002.

DeSantis Says ‘We Don’t Want’ Migrants Federal Government Plans to Send to Florida

| May 17, 2019

U.S. Customs and Border Protection could start sending about 135 migrants awaiting asylum hearings twice a week to Palm Beach and Broward counties, to alleviate overcrowding in border facilities.

16-Year-Old Girl Who Made Bigoted Threats About FPC Teacher Is Arrested

| May 14, 2019

The State Attorney is charging the girl with a count of written threats to kill, a felony, following a December incident in which the girl exchanged hateful and allegedly threatening messages about her teacher with another student.

Florida Considers Prison Guards as Immigration Enforcers; Counties May Be Next

| May 14, 2019

The state request to launch the federal immigration enforcement program, known as 287(g), came as Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed local governments to implement the program at county jails.

81% of Voters Reject Denver Initiative That Would Have Given Homeless Camping Rights Anywhere

| May 13, 2019

While supporters said the measure would shield Denver’s estimated 3,445 people experiencing homelessness from unfair citations and arrests, it faced fierce opposition from businesses and environmental and social service organizations.

You Don’t Get To Discriminate Just Because You’re Religious

| May 8, 2019

A bill in Texas would allow professionals of all kinds — doctors, pharmacists, electricians — to deny services to LGBTQ customers on religious grounds, a consequence of a recurring misinterpretation of law.

Federal Lawsuit Targets Florida Prisons Over ‘Deliberately Indifferent’ Use of Solitary Confinement

| May 8, 2019

Florida’s prison system is “widely overusing” the practice of solitary confinement to manage inmates, sometimes locking them up in cells that are no bigger than a parking spaces over often-minor infractions, according to a federal lawsuit.

DeSantis Will Sign Controversial Bill With Conditions on Felons’ Voting Rights

| May 7, 2019

Earlier in the day, the League of Women Voters of Florida held a conference call with reporters urging DeSantis to veto the Amendment 4 implementation bill.

All I Want For Mother’s Day Is Equality For My Transgender Child

| May 6, 2019

She wasn’t allowed to use the girls’ bathroom. She had shoes thrown at her head when she wore leggings and lacy tops. She endured public school teachers making the sign of the cross and running off when she walked between classes.

The Real Threat To Free Speech On Campus

| May 2, 2019

Conservatives complain when student protest hate speech, while progressive professors are the ones losing their jobs for speaking out as people of color and other marginalized demographics are demonized.

A Middle School PAL Coach Is Ordered Off Matanzas High Property for Wearing an FPC Shirt. Disbelief Follows.

| May 2, 2019

Derrick Griffin, a 35-year-old Navy veteran and beloved and respected coach of 50 Indian Trails Middle School PAL track students, was ordered to wear a Matanzas shirt or get off Matanzas’ track the last week of the season.

House Passes Controversial Felons’ Voting-Rights Bill, Setting Up Financial Hurdles Before Restoration

| April 25, 2019

The House’s party-line, 71-45 vote drew a rebuke from backers of the amendment, who called the bill “a failure to live up to the bipartisan commitment” demonstrated by the 61 percent of voters who approved Amendment 4.

It’ll Be Harder For Citizens To Get Their Initiatives On the Ballot If House Has Its Way

| April 21, 2019

Petition-gatherers to be registered with the state, ballots would have to include information about contributions raised by amendment sponsors, whether out-of-state petition circulators were used and whether amendments could lead to tax increases.

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