Florida Supreme Court

ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLU of Florida) has taken a public stance on a number of the constitutional amendments Floridians are supposed to vote on in November.

Governor Rick Scott’s decision to start the process of appointing new Florida Supreme Court justices has ignited a looming constitutional crisis.  At the center of the issue: who—the outgoing or incoming governor—has the ability to make those appointments.

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Every 20 years the Florida Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) meets to propose changes of law to the Florida Constitution. In 2018 the commission met and came up with several ideas included in the 13 amendment proposals to send to Florida voters in the November 2018 elections.

Whether voters will actually ever see those amendments at the ballot box is another story.

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The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday sent to a lower court a lawsuit that seeks to prevent six proposed constitutional amendments from going on the November ballot.

Justices tried to make clear they were not ruling on the underlying issues in the case, saying in an order that the transfer to Leon County circuit court “should not be construed as an adjudication or comment on the merits of the petition.” But the order, along with a decision against holding oral arguments, means that the Supreme Court will not immediately take up the dispute.

A long-running lawsuit over whether the state is properly funding its public schools is now before the Florida Supreme Court.  Oral arguments have been scheduled for November 8th.

Defendant Tries To Sway Justices On ‘Stand Your Ground’ Change

Aug 17, 2018

Pointing in part to statements made by lawmakers, attorneys for a woman arrested in a shooting outside a Miami nightclub filed a 40-page brief late Wednesday at the Florida Supreme Court arguing that a 2017 change in the “stand your ground” self-defense law should apply to her case. 

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Arguing that Floridians shouldn’t be asked to vote on ballot measures that patch together unrelated issues, a legal challenge filed Tuesday at the state Supreme Court seeks to scuttle six proposed constitutional amendments.

The plaintiffs, including former Supreme Court Justice Harry Lee Anstead, take aim at proposed amendments that the Florida Constitution Revision Commission placed on the November ballot. While individual amendments also face separate lawsuits, the petition filed at the Supreme Court targets six of the eight measures approved this spring by the commission.

Danny Hwang

Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that red light cameras can stay in the city of Aventura.

The dispute had been centered around having third party contractors operate the cameras. While initial footage is collected by non-government workers, they follow a guideline provided by the city of Aventura to sift through the footage to send along to the police. Trained police officers then have the final say in issuing tickets, which is why judges ruled the red light camera program constitutional.

Second ‘Stand Your Ground’ Case Filed At Supreme Court

May 25, 2018

Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office is asking the Florida Supreme Court to take up a Hillsborough County case that deals with how courts should carry out a controversial 2017 change to the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.

Justices Set Arguments In Car Weapon Case

Apr 12, 2018

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments June 6 in a dispute about whether a car can legally be considered a weapon.

Justices on Wednesday scheduled the hearing in an appeal by Adam Lloyd Shepard, who was convicted on a charge of manslaughter with a weapon after fatally striking Spencer Schott with a car after leaving a Jacksonville Beach bar in January 2011. 

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Guests for Sundial Tuesday, April 3, 2018:

The city of Miami established the Sea-Level Rise Committee in 2015 to study the effects of sea-level rise on the city and recommend policy changes to help combat rising sea levels.

In 2017, taxpayers agreed to a $400 million bond for resilience projects, $192 million of which is to be spent on efforts to help curb the effects of rising seas.

The committee meets monthly to discuss how to help Miami officials create plans that inclusively and equitably prepare for sea-level rise.

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments in June in a case that focuses on the amount of damages an adult child should be able to receive in the smoking-related death of her mother.

In a case stemming from the death of a man after an altercation in a bar, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office Friday urged the Florida Supreme Court to uphold a ruling that a car can legally be considered a weapon.

The Supreme Court said in January that it would take up an appeal by Adam Lloyd Shepard, who was convicted on a charge of manslaughter with a weapon after fatally striking Spencer Schott with a car after leaving a Jacksonville Beach bar in January 2011.

A Constitution Revision Commission proposal to extend the retirement age of Florida’s Supreme Court justices from 70 to 75 is moving forward, and may soon be in front of voters. Commissioner Darryl Rouson says he trusts the move won’t negatively affect diversity in the position.

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Florida Supreme Court justices are in line for a 24 percent pay raise in the new state budget.

The 2018-2019 budget, which is expected to be approved Sunday, would provide $42,180 raises for the seven justices on the state’s highest court, increasing their salaries to $220,600.

Lawmakers said a factor in the raise is that three vacancies will have to be filled in January as longtime justices Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince leave the bench because of a mandatory retirement age.

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