Florida Supreme Court

The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week in a child-custody dispute between two women. Legal experts say, the case highlights how state law does not reflect scientific advances and the variety of family structures that exist in Florida.

WFSU

When Kamaria Jackson started attending Florida A&M University a few years ago, her tuition bill was about $2,000 to $3,000 a semester. Nowadays it’s around $5,000. Her mother makes too much money to qualify for federal financial aid. And that means Jackson has had to pay for her education out-of-pocket.

The Florida Supreme Court took up a long-running lawsuit Thursday over whether the legislature or the university governing board has the right to set tuition.The Florida Board of Governors was once a party to the lawsuit but withdrew after striking a deal with the legislature to share tuition-setting authority. But the lawsuit continued. It was filed by former Governor Bob Graham and others who say the board should have that authority.

The Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Tuesday in a child-custody battle between two women.

There’s not a clear precedent in the state for same-sex custody disputes like this one.

The Brevard County couple conceived their daughter using one woman’s eggs and the other’s womb. But, ever since the couple split up, the birth mother has denied the biological mother custody.

Justice Barbara Pariente asked whether a biological mother should have the same constitutional rights as a man who fathers a child out of wedlock.  

The Florida Board of Bar Examiners wants the state's highest court to weigh in on whether it should waive its rules and allow an undocumented immigrant to become a lawyer. The Florida Supreme Court took up the case Tuesday, but appeared skeptical about claims that it has the authority to admit Jose Godinez-Samperio to the Florida Bar.

Florida’s police and firefighter unions are coming out in support of the three Florida Supreme Court justices who are up for a vote on this year’s ballot about whether they’ll keep their jobs. And the law enforcement officers are criticizing the Florida Republican Party for taking sides in what they say should be a nonpartisan issue.

Florida Supreme Court

Media campaigns against three Florida Supreme Court justices are accusing them of making decisions based on political leanings. But, the judges’ supporters argue, it’s campaigns like that, not the judges, who are injecting politics into what’s supposed to be a non-partisan branch of government.

In 1998, former Florida governors, Democrat Lawton Chiles and Republican Jeb Bush, jointly appointed Justice Peggy Quince to the Florida Supreme Court.

Justices Find Support Amidst Growing Efforts To Oust Them

Sep 24, 2012

For the first time, The Republican Party of Florida is taking sides in Florida’s judicial merit retention.

On Friday, the Republican Party of Florida released a statement openly opposing the retention of three Florida Supreme Court Justices.  Merit retention gives voters a say once every six years on whether a justice should keep their jobs.  In a written statement, the Republican Party of Florida called Justices Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente, and Peggy Quince “extreme and took a stance opposing their retention. 

Florida supreme court upholds controversial drug law

Jul 12, 2012

Florida’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday citizens can now be prosecuted for illegal drug possession, even if they didn’t know they had them. In most other states, intent or knowledge of wrongdoing is necessary to be tried for a criminal action. But that was cut out of the criminal section of Florida’s drug law back in 2002. Supports of the law said the ruling was a major victory for the war on drugs.

Charges won’t be filed against three Florida Supreme Court judges who use court employees to notarize their elections paperwork. Earlier in the year the court put a hearing on hold to allow the justices to turn those documents in. A court employee notarized those filings. An FDLE report called the practice “common”, but the state attorney’s office says the infraction is minor.

Should public defenders be able to excuse themselves from future cases if their current case load is too high? And should criminal defendants have the right to change their pleas within a month of the original plea? These were the questions the Florida Supreme Court considered in Thursday’s oral arguments.

A $300,000 campaign is underway to educate Florida voters on the importance of knowing all the facts before they elect appeals court judges as well as Supreme Court Justices on the November ballot. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, the initiative to let Floridians know about the state’s judicial merit retention elections comes just as conservative opposition is mounting against three Supreme Court Justices.

The Florida Supreme court is considering what some call the most important foreclosure case in the country.  Regan McCarthy reports the justices are looking into whether banks should be allowed to re-file a case, if the lawsuit they originally filed used fraudulent documents. 

The Florida Supreme Court is considering whether a bank that used fraudulent documents should be allowed to dismiss a case and refile it later with different paperwork.  Regan McCarthy reports the high court is looking into a case that goes back to the robo-signing scandal that overtook Florida a few years ago.

The Florida Supreme Court is considering whether a group seeking a class-action lawsuit against a check-advance company should be allowed to move forward with the case. Regan McCarthy reports The company argues the individuals signed contracts waiving their rights to class-action suits.

The Florida Supreme Court is looking into a number of cases in which immigrants say they weren’t told taking a plea bargain would lead to their deportation. Regan McCarthy reports now they’re asking for their pleas to be thrown out.

The Florida Supreme Court is considering whether out-of-state residents can qualify for the state’s property tax exemptions if they have dependents permanently living in their Florida homes. Lynn Hatter reports the case stems from a dispute over whether a couple from Honduras could receive an exemption because their children are U.S. Citizens.

Will a recent Supreme Court decision to allow more slot machines in South Florida lead to expansion of gambling throughout the rest of the state? Sascha Cordner delves into a recent decision by the high court to uphold a lower court ruling.

In 2004, Florida voters approved a state constitutional amendment that allows several pari-mutuel facilities in South Florida to carry slot machines. That means places, like dog tracks and horse tracks, could now have slots in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.

The Florida Bar launched a $300,000 campaign Monday to educate voters about what role they play in determining whether state Supreme Court Justices and appellate judges stay in office. As Sascha Cordner reports, the effort comes amid questions about the retention of three justices.

The Florida Supreme Court has signed off on the Senate’s second attempt at drawing voting districts. But that doesn’t mean the Justices were completely satisfied with the approach taken by Senate leaders. Lynn Hatter reports while the body as a whole gave its approval, several Justices pointed out what they saw as flaws within the state’s redistricting process.

Florida lawmakers are asking the governor to investigate whether three state supreme court justices broke the law when they filed last minute paperwork needed for them to be on the ballot this year. Regan McCarthy reports some say the justices used court employees to help them, and say that’s a violation. 

The Florida Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on the Senate’s new voting district maps. The court ruled the first maps constitutionally invalid, now Regan McCarthy reports the justices are reviewing the senate’s second try.

The attorney representing the Senate in the case, former Florida Supreme Court Justice, Raoul Cantero says the Senate addressed everything the justices asked to be done during their last review.

It’s now up to the Florida Supreme court to decide whether undocumented immigrants are allowed to be lawyers in the state. Regan McCarthy reports the Florida Board of Bar Examiners is asking the Court for its opinion.

The Republican-led Florida Legislature finished its redistricting do-over on Tuesday and is sending a revised Senate map back to the state Supreme Court for final action. James Call reports the House vote 61-47 in favor of the plan, and ended a scheduled 15 day special redistricting session a day early.

The Florida Supreme Court says the Senate’s new voting district maps are unconstitutional. Regan McCarthy reports today marks the last constitutionally required day of Florida’s 60-day regular legislative session, but the Supreme court’s ruling means lawmakers will have to come back to Tallahassee for a special session to sort out the maps.

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