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Category archives for:Rights & Liberties

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.

New Florida Supreme Court Flexes Rightward Muscle, Overturning Two January Decisions

| April 19, 2019

Justices, in a pair of 6-1 opinions Thursday, overturned the two rulings. The only dissenter in both cases: Justice Jorge Labarga, who had sided with Pariente, Lewis and Quince in January.

Nanny Senate: Students Would Have to Get Parental Consent Before Seeking Mental Health or Birth Control

| April 11, 2019

The so-called “Parents Bill of Rights” would allow parents to access and review all of their children’s school records and change the way students can seek mental-health and reproductive-health services, including counseling and birth control prescriptions.

Renner’s Panel Goes Jekyll and Hyde on Felons, Easing Punishments But Not Voting Rights

| April 9, 2019

The House Judiciary Committee Palm Coast’s Paul Renner chairs on Tuesday passed a crime bill that eases some punishments and makes it easier for felons to reintegrate society but also passed a restrictive interpretation of Amendment 4 and felons’ right to vote.

Senate Panel Advances Bill That Would Require Felons to Pay Fines and Restitution Before Voting

| April 8, 2019

The 3-2 party-line vote followed a hurried 27-minute hearing on the bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes, the Pinellas County Republican. Opponents of the bill are pleading to make financial burdens a roadblock to voting.

Felons’ Right To Vote and Paul Renner’s Cynical End Run Around Amendment 4

| April 6, 2019

Paul Renner, Flagler’s GOP representative and future Speaker of the House, is being dishonest and disingenuous in his defense of a bill that would make felons’ right to vote dependent on paying back all financial obligations.

Past Prison Sentences Could Be Reduced as Criminal Justice Reform Advances at Legislature

| April 1, 2019

A bill that would give the Legislature power to decide on a law-by-law basis whether to reduce past prison sentences cleared a Senate panel Monday following tearful testimony from criminal-justice reform advocates.

‘That’s Like a Poll Tax’: Senate Bill Would Require All Restitution Paid Before Restoring Voting Right

| March 25, 2019

Dozens of people who traveled to the state Capitol to plead with lawmakers to do nothing or to dramatically scale back House and Senate bills designed to carry out the amendment. Many amendment supporters do not believe the measure requires legislative action.

Nelson Mandela’s Legacy of Activism: Ndaba Mandela, His Grandson, Speaks at Stetson

| March 25, 2019

Ndaba Mandela will discuss social justice and experiences he shared with his grandfather, who raised him while his parents were in college, on Tuesday at 6 p.m., at Stetson University as part of Stetson’s Many Voices, One Stetson initiative.

The Familiar Face of White Supremacy

| March 24, 2019

The fad of not naming mass killers is deceptive and self-defeating, an act of cowardice that hides more than it wants to acknowledge. Brenton Tarrant, the killer of Christchurch, is an all–too familiar face.

Stetson Issues Explicit Defense of Free and Controversial Expression on Campus, Whatever the ‘Discomforts’

| March 23, 2019

In the culmination of a year-and-a-half process, Stetson University this week issued a statement firmly in defense of academic freedom and free, diverse and controversial expression on campus.

Critics See Jim Crow Poll Taxes In House Plan To Make Felons Pay Up Before Voting

| March 19, 2019

Felons would have to clear up any financial obligations, including court costs, fees and fines, before having their voting rights restored, under a House proposal castigated by critics Tuesday as a modern take on Jim Crow-era poll taxes designed to keep black voters from participating in elections.

House Piles Up Exceptions and Controversies to Automatic Restoration of Felons’ Voting Rights

| March 18, 2019

House proposals would broaden the definition of sex offenses that would keep a felon from regaining the right to vote and would add a slew of financial obligations before a felon could get the right back.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Calls Suspension ‘a Political Power Play’ By DeSantis

| March 8, 2019

In a court filing, Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s lawyer argued the suspension “is an affront to the Florida Constitution and the fundamental right of voters to choose their elected officials.”

Criticizing Israel Isn’t Anti-Semitic. Here’s What Is.

| March 6, 2019

In light of accusations of anti-semitism being leveled against U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, what is anti-semitic is the cacophony of mainstream media and politicians saying that criticizing U.S. policy toward the state of Israel is the same as attacking Jewish people.

What National Emergency?

| March 1, 2019

American leader not only genuflecting to autocrats from Turkey to Russia to Saudi Arabia, but behaving like them is a more serious national emergency than what few migrants are still crossing the border illegally.

Florida Takes Center Stage In Controversy Over Citizenship Question On Census Form

| February 19, 2019

Including the citizenship question could hurt Florida and other states with large immigrant populations in the decennial reapportionment process, a federal judge wrote.

Anthony Fennick’s Death and The Sheriff’s Green Roof Inn Smear

| February 17, 2019

Much is unknown in the death of inmate Anthony Fennick, but much is known, including the sheriff’s responsibility for hiring trouble-ridden Armor Health–and for showing inmates contempt from the outset with his “Green Roof Inn” sign.

Renner Wants ‘Objectivity’ To Drive Felons’ Voter Restoration, But Hurdles Are Multiplying

| February 14, 2019

Elections officials could face a Herculean task trying to verify whether people who’ve registered to vote have met all the conditions required to make them eligible to cast ballots.

Trump Said He Would Protect Families, Then Deported My Husband

| February 12, 2019

A year ago, my husband Jorge was torn from our family and deported to Mexico after living peacefully in the United States for nearly 30 years, working and raising a family with me in suburban Detroit, the author writes.

Flagler Jail’s Private Provider Says Its Nurses Did Nothing Wrong in Fennick’s Death–and Asks for Reimbursements

| February 11, 2019

Armor Correctional Health relieved two nurses of duty at the Flagler jail at the sheriff’s request, placing them on administrative leave and asking the sheriff to pay their salaries and their replacements’ salaries.

State GOP Targets ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Even Though There Are None in Florida

| February 10, 2019

Critics of the bill argue efforts to outlaw “sanctuary cities” have more to do with partisanship than with thwarting an existing problem as there are no counties or cities in Florida that act as “sanctuaries” for undocumented immigrants.

GPS Ankle Monitors Give Local Cops Stronger Means of Enforcing No-Contact Orders

| February 6, 2019

Alleged domestic violence and other offenders released from jail to await trial usually must stay away from their victims, but such no-contact orders were harder to enforce until GPS devices have been attached to the offenders.

Ramping Up Surveillance, Sheriff Will Have Access to Live Video and Data From 44 Palm Coast Traffic Intersections

| January 30, 2019

Palm Coast government and the Flagler Sheriff’s Office are teaming up to use a “traffic-optimization” camera network at intersection as a surveillance mechanism as well.

DeSantis Would Eliminate Ban on Smoking Medical Pot, Supporting Senate Bill

| January 29, 2019

But legislative leaders may not be keen on completely doing away with vertical integration, a move that could destabilize a growing and lucrative market in which one marijuana license recently sold for $63 million in cash.

Trump’s Fabulous Wall Fables

| January 25, 2019

We’re in a post-factual presidency where alternative facts are the equivalent of papal bulls. It’s about belief, not reality. For the sake of appearances though, let’s argue the facts about the wall for a moment.

Transgender Ban in Military Is About Bigotry and Distraction, Not Readiness or Cost

| January 24, 2019

Trump is using the ban purely to provoke the left, throw red meat to his base, and distract us all from the real issues in our nation, like the government shutdown.

In Restoration of Felons’ Voting Rights, Meaning of ‘Murder’ Becomes Stumbling Block

| January 23, 2019

A new constitutional amendment grants “automatic” restoration of voting rights to felons who’ve completed their sentence, but it excludes people “convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.”

With Carlos Muniz as 3rd Pick, DeSantis Touts ‘Newly Constituted’ Supreme Court

| January 22, 2019

The appointment of Muniz, 49, solidifies a conservative majority on the court after years of justices regularly thwarting the Republican-led Legislature and the GOP governor.

MLK’s Dream Of Economic Justice Deferred By Increasing Inequalities

| January 21, 2019

King foreshadowed that if we maintain our exploitative economic and political systems, then we’d get not only racial apartheid, but economic apartheid as well.

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