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Category archives for: 14th Amendment

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.”

“We Cannot Walk Alone…
We Cannot Turn Back”

| January 21, 2019

A brief history of the origins and battles of the Martin Luther King federal holiday, and of the MLK monument at the Washington Mall, with full text and video of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.”

Transgender Inmate Spurs Appeal as Florida Prisons Seek to Deny Her Gender Identity

| January 3, 2019

Inmate Reiyn Keohane contends that her rights have been violated at least in part because she has not been allowed to wear women’s undergarments and groom as a woman.

Supervisors of Election Seek Answer on Amendment Restoring Felons’ Right to Vote

| December 4, 2018

Florida officials don’t have a plan for how to carry out a constitutional amendment that restores the right to vote to more than a million Floridians convicted of felonies.

Amendments: Felons Will Get Voting Rights, Dogs Won’t Race Anymore, Homestead Expansion Fails

| November 7, 2018

More than 64 percent of Florida voters had cast ballots for Amendment 4, which is designed to restore voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million felons who have completed their sentences.

‘Marsy’s Law’ Protections for Crime Victims Sound Great, but Could Cause Problems

| October 13, 2018

Giving crime victims constitutional rights equal to those of defendants sets up a clash over the accused person’s Sixth Amendment right to due process and the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Amendment 4: With 1.4 Million Florida Felons Banned from Voting, Voters Will Decide On Restoring Right

| October 12, 2018

Amendment 4 would automatically restore the right to vote for felons who have completed their sentences, paid restitution and fulfilled probation. Murderers and sex offenders would be excluded.

Saint Kavanaugh

| October 4, 2018

Whether Kavanaugh was confirmed or not is irrelevant: whoever’s next might be less personally sleazy, more temperamentally amoebic, but judicially? Same shill, different name.

What’s At Stake If Brett Kavanaugh Joins the Supreme Court

| July 11, 2018

All Americans say they value personal freedom, especially the right to make our own decisions about our private lives. Expect that to end.

Pious Homophobes Win One

| June 10, 2018

The Supreme Court in its wedding-cake ruling declared gays once again second-class citizens, at least when their sexuality has to compete with someone else’s more stone-throwing version of Christianity.

“We Don’t Serve Gays”

| December 9, 2017

Invoking Christian belief to deny service to a gay couple is not a First Amendment right, nor is it a matter of artistic expression. It’s good old discrimination under a new mask.

Cops Aren’t Under Siege.
Civilians and Liberties Are.

| December 9, 2016

It’s a widely accepted but dangerous myth: that cops are under siege, handcuffed by “new restrictions.” The reality is the opposite, with more unbridled and brutal policing than we care to admit.

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.

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.

Judge Rejects Sweeping Challenge to School System, But case May Head for Supreme Court

| May 25, 2016

A Leon County judge said lawmakers met their constitutional obligation to provide free, quality public education for Florida students, but advocates plan to appeal, laying the groundwork for a landmark opinion by the Florida Supreme Court.

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.

“God’s Authority” Has No Place In Civil Government

| September 7, 2015

Kim Davis is not the problem. She’s a symptom of a dangerous movement that seeks to carve out religious objections all over the law books, making civil government a vassal of religious edicts.

Memo to GOP Candidates: Why Conservatives Should Embrace Gay Marriage Decision

| July 10, 2015

As a conservative who has always supported gay marriage, it’s difficult for Nancy Smith to understand why so many people of her generation — the ones who grew up witnessing some of the worst discrimination of the 20th century — could consistently rage against it.

Why Black America Fears the Police

| March 8, 2015

When shots were fired as a group of black friends walked along the beach, there was no rush to call 911. They feared what could happen if police came rushing into a group of people who, by virtue of their skin color, might be mistaken for suspects.

In a Reversal, Florida Court Clerks’ Lawyers Say Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Must Be Issued

| January 2, 2015

The reversal from the association’s lawyers should remove the last roadblock to gay marriage starting in Florida, though some clerks say they’ll refuse to perform ceremonies.

Federal Judge Orders Florida Clerks to Issue Gay-Marriage Licenses Across Florida Starting Tuesday

| January 1, 2015

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle warned that clerks of court who refuse to comply with the ruling expose themselves to be a party to the suit, allowing successful plaintiffs to recover costs and attorneys’ fees.

As Lawyers Duel, Meet the Interracial Gay Cowboys at Heart of Florida’s Gay-Marriage Quest

| December 30, 2014

Stephen Schlairet and Ozzie Russ are a typical couple in many ways. They finish each other’s sentences, and reminisce over a photo album of their commitment ceremony nearly 15 years ago.

Flagler Court Clerk Gail Wadsworth on Gay Marriage: “People Should Have Freedom to Be.”

| December 22, 2014

Flagler County Clerk of Court Gail Wadsworth, whose office will be responsible for issuing same-sex marriage licenses starting Jan. 6, assuming legalities are worked out, speaks of her support for the sweeping change and hopes that it does not apply in one part of Florida but not others.

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