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Category archives for: Rights & Liberties

Right v. Usurpation: State Defends Shifting Death Cases From State Attorney In Seminal Case of Authority

| April 27, 2017

Central Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala sued Rick Scott after he reassigned 23 death penalty cases, setting the stage for courts to clarify which authority of duly elected officials prevails.

Embattled State Attorney Ayala Gets Big-Name Backers In Fight With Scott Over Death Penalty

| April 24, 2017

Ex-prosecutors, former state Supreme Court justices, civil-rights organizations and families of homicide victims from across the country have filed briefs supporting Ayala in her legal battle with Gov. Rick Scott.

Secret Hospital Inspections Revealing Errors and Mishaps and May Become Public at Last

| April 22, 2017

The federal government has proposed requiring that accreditors release reports on the problems they find during hospital inspections. Right now, the reports are secret.

Goons With Guns, Sheriff Edition

| April 13, 2017

A Florida sheriff’s ISIS-like video warning to drug dealers and the brutalizing of Dr. David Dao on a United flight in the same week are no coincidence, but symptoms of a re-emerging authoritarianism.

The Legislature’s Mullahs Threaten
Religious Freedom in Florida Schools

| March 31, 2017

The Florida Legislature is about to approve a bill that would give religion preferential treatment in public schools, destroying a balance between secular rights and already inviolate personal expression.

For Florida’s Troubled Death Penalty, Prosecutor’s Refusal to Enforce It Is Latest Challenge

| March 27, 2017

Recent studies have provided additional evidence to bolster criticism of the death penalty in Florida, which leads the nation in Death Row exonerations.

A 2-for-1 for Racists: Post Hateful Fliers, and Revel in the News Coverage

| March 25, 2017

Nationalism evident since Trump’s rise–calls for mass deportations, Muslim bans, economic nationalism–intensified intense media coverage of emboldened white supremacists, attention the groups seem to be enjoying.

Bill Vastly Diminishing Separation of Church and School Passes Florida Senate, 23-13

| March 24, 2017

The proposal would allow religious speakers and messaging at school-sponsored events, and would allow students to engage in organized prayer groups during the school day and with the participation–though not the sponsorship–of school personnel.

Ousted In Cop Case, Prosecutor Who Won’t Seek Death Penalty Challenges Scott

| March 21, 2017

State Attorney Aramis Ayala is accusing Gov. Scott of abusing his authority by ousting her as prosecutor in the case of alleged cop-killer Markeith Loyd.

As 1st Brick In Wall Goes Up, An Accounting of the Cost of a Single Installment ($2.8 Billion) to U.S. Taxpayers

| March 19, 2017

That first $2.6 billion will not go toward the permanent wall Trump has committed to (that’s forecast to be around 10 times the $2.6 billion) but to a bunch of smaller walls and patch holes in the assortment of fences that now exist.

In Stunning Move, State Attorney Ayala Won’t Pursue Death Sentences in Orange and Osceola

| March 16, 2017

Ayala’s decision infuriated Gov. Scott, Attorney General Bondi and police organizations, but drew praise from others who see the position more in line with a growing national trend by courts, some governors and legislatures.

Stetson University Hosting Immigration Forum on April 1

| March 15, 2017

In light of many recent convulsions in immigration law, Stetson University is hosting an open forum discussion with St. Petersburg immigration attorney Arturo R. Rios on recent changes in immigration actions and law.

A Country Unbecoming In the Age of Trump

| March 14, 2017

Immigrants targeted for prosecution or removal could be the people who built your house, picked the fruit for your breakfast, and tidied up the hotel room where you last stayed.

Florida’s Lethal Injections Ready to Stab Again As Gov. Scott Signs Death Penalty Bill

| March 13, 2017

Florida is again poised to begin executions and prosecute death penalty cases after Gov. Rick Scott signed a law Monday aimed at fixing flaws in the state’s capital sentencing procedure.

An Outbreak of Anti-Semitism in an Angry and Fearful America Since Trump’s Election

| March 12, 2017

“Documenting Hate,” an attempt to document hate crimes and bigotry from a divided America, has recorded more than 330 reports of anti-Semitic incidents during a three-month span from early November to early February.

Florida Senate Backs Unanimous Juries in Death Sentences

| March 9, 2017

Thursday’s Senate vote — on the third day of the 2017 legislative session — would ostensibly fix the weaknesses identified by the majority of the Florida Supreme Court with the current law.

Revealing Look at How Flagler Beach Commission, in Closed-Door Meeting, Settled Wrongful Arrest Claim

| March 9, 2017

Vassili Mironov had sued the Flagler Beach Police Department for $89,000 after his arrest at Finns for a fight he says he did not start. He got $6,000 in a settlement that revealed how divided city commissioners arrived at their 3-2 vote.

Lawmakers Back Secrecy for Murder Witnesses

| March 9, 2017

Witnesses’ identifying information would remain secret for two years after the date of the incidents, except to prosecutors and police.

Felons Seeking to Regain Right To Vote Look to Constitutional Amendment

| March 6, 2017

The constitutional change, if approved, could open up voting rights for more than 700,000 Floridians, although fewer than 300,000 could be expected to apply, at least initially.

Gov. Scott Names Political Loyalists To Constitutional Revision Commission

| March 4, 2017

Scott’s selections included a number of Republican political allies, including influential insurance lobbyist Fred Karlinsky, a major Scott political fundraiser, and Brecht Heuchan, a key player with the governor’s “Let’s Get to Work” political committee.

Florida Supreme Court Upholds Ban On Openly Carrying Guns in 4-2 Ruling

| March 3, 2017

Justices, in a 4-2 ruling, said the state law “regulates only one manner of bearing arms and does not impair the exercise of the fundamental right to bear arms.”

Guns at Florida Airports, Colleges, Government Buildings: House Speaker Says “Let’s Try It”

| March 1, 2017

Some 39 bills, resolutions and resolution-like memorials have been filed in the Legislature so far that include language that would make gun possession and carrying more permissive in Florida.

Don’t Fall For False Tone of Moderation in Trump’s Fact-Challenged Speech to Congress

| March 1, 2017

Some pundits and lawmakers applauded Trump for this “presidential” moment. Tone aside, however, the substance of the speech doesn’t diverge from Trump’s radical nationalist extremism, argues Peter Certo.

Legislating Free Speech on Florida’s College Campuses? Not So Fast.

| February 27, 2017

A Legislative committee pondered on proposed legislation called the Campus Free Speech Act. Stanley Kurtz, a conservative academic, told lawmakers the measure would defend the right for people to speak their minds at the state’s universities.

I Am An Enemy Combatant

| February 25, 2017

The media has been the enemy since the earliest days of the Republic. But to be an enemy in America is what all of us at one point or another have been or will be. It is an American responsibility. It’s proof of our beloved American citizenship.

Donald Trump’s New Deputy CIA Director: a Torturer Who Destroyed Evidence

| February 23, 2017

Gina Haspel was deeply involved in the illegal torture of a prisoner at a secret CIA site, and when questions arose about the brutality, demolished 92 tapes that had documented the abuse.

Sanctuary Cities Brace For Trump Order Targeting Undocumented Immigrants for Deportation

| February 19, 2017

Many cities, counties and college campuses nationwide are pledging to limit cooperation with immigration enforcers in the face of President Trump’s pledge to quickly deport 2 to 3 million undocumented immigrants.

Congress Signals Opposition to Assisted Suicide; Proponents Fear State Laws in Jeopardy

| February 19, 2017

A congressional committee voted to overturn an assisted-suicide measure in Washington, D.C., last week, signalling more willingness in Congress to possibly reverse more liberal state laws.

Protesters, True Patriots

| February 17, 2017

Freedom for the thought we agree with is as cheap as a Facebook click on the like button. Freedom for the thought that we hate is what separate Americans from thuggery.

1st Amendment Trumps 2nd: Court Says Doctors Have Right To Ask About Guns at Home

| February 17, 2017

Major portions of a controversial Florida law restricting physicians and other health-care providers from asking patients about guns is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled.

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