Florida Supreme Court rules against Parkland sheriff
MIAMI (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled against a sheriff who fought his removal from office after the governor claimed he failed to prevent last year's Parkland school...
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A lawsuit claiming Florida's governor improperly suspended a county sheriff for failing to prevent last year's Parkland school shooting is going directly to the...
Florida grand jury to examine school safety law compliance
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court is granting Republican Ron DeSantis' request to impanel a statewide grand jury to investigate whether school districts are following laws enacted...
Bills would prohibit Florida abortions after fetal heartbeat
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A pair of controversial bills introduced in the Florida Legislature aim to ban women from attaining an abortion when a fetus' heartbeat is detected.
DeSantis picks Trump administration official for high court
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Cementing his push to remake the Florida Supreme Court, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday appointed a top official from the administration of President Donald Trump for the final spot that remained open on the state's most important court.
DeSantis picked Carlos Muniz, who had been working as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
DeSantis picks 2nd Miami appeals judge for Supreme Court
MIAMI (AP) — Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday chose a second Miami appeals judge for a seat on the Florida Supreme Court, continuing to move the state's highest court in a more conservative direction.
DeSantis announced Monday that Robert Luck is his latest choice. Luck, 39, a former Miami federal prosecutor and circuit court judge, most recently served on the 3rd District Court of Appeal.
DeSantis last week picked another judge on that court, Barbara Lagoa, for the Supreme Court.
DeSantis picks female Cuban-American for state’s high court
MIAMI (AP) — With the first of his three picks for the Florida Supreme Court, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday chose a female Cuban-American appellate judge to become the state's newest justice.
Florida Supreme Court rejects challenge on school funding
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A sharply divided Florida Supreme Court rejected a nearly decade-old lawsuit Friday that claimed the state isn't living up to its constitutional requirement to provide a "high quality" education for all.
In doing so, the 4-3 decision Friday essentially renders meaningless a 1998 constitutional amendment approved by Florida voters that sought to strengthen guarantees for K-12 education.
Gun law, hurricanes added to Florida courts’ workload
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's new gun law is keeping courts busy, and the state Supreme Court also says lawsuits over hurricane disputes could be on the rise.
The Florida Supreme Court said Friday 100 petitions a month have been filed statewide to try to keep guns out of the hands of people at risk to themselves and others. The Legislature passed new gun restrictions in March following a school shooting in Parkland that left 17 dead.
Florida Supreme Court upholds conviction of FAMU band member
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Ending a 4-year-old legal battle, Florida's highest court on Thursday upheld the conviction of a former Florida A&M University band member who was convicted of killing a fellow band member during a brutal hazing ritual.
Incoming Florida governor given finalists for Supreme Court
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A statewide panel is giving Governor-elect Ron DeSantis a list of 11 finalists to consider for the Florida Supreme Court.
Three justices are being forced to leave the state Supreme Court in early January due to age limits. The high court recently ruled the new justices will be selected by DeSantis and not Gov. Rick Scott.
Supreme Court: Judges can be Facebook friends with attorneys
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court says it's OK for judges to be friends on Facebook with attorneys who have cases before them.
In a 4-3 decision, the justices ruled that a Facebook friend is more casual and not comparable to a "traditional" friendship in terms of a potential conflict of interest. The decision says that many Facebook friends are complete strangers.
New lawsuit filed over Florida Supreme Court picks
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Another lawsuit is being filed over the process used to select three new Florida Supreme Court justices.
The League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause late Friday asked the state Supreme Court to block a statewide nominating commission from interviewing candidates for three spots on the court.
Florida editorial roundup
Recent editorials from Florida newspapers:
Tampa Bay Times on the selection process for Florida Supreme Court justices:
Florida Supreme Court: Amendment measures can stay on ballot
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court is overturning a lower court decision to toss three proposed constitutional amendments off the Nov. 6 ballot.
Wednesday's ruling means voters can still vote on Amendments 7, 9 and 11.
Last month a lower court ruled the items should be struck from the ballot because they bundled different issues.
Florida Supreme Court: Next governor will pick new justices
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's next governor and not incumbent Gov. Rick Scott will get to pick three new justices to the state Supreme Court, the court ruled Monday in a decision with major implications in this year's gubernatorial campaign.
In a major rebuke to Scott, the Supreme Court concluded that the Republican governor exceeded his authority when he started the process to find replacements for the three justices.
Courts remove 4 Florida ballot questions, restore 2 others
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — In a whirlwind of rulings, the Florida Supreme Court on Friday said voters can decide whether to ban greyhound racing and to give crime victims additional rights, but stripped a ballot question that would have made it easier to set up charter schools.
Meanwhile a Leon County Circuit judge ordered three proposed constitutional amendments off the ballot because she said they combined ideas that should have been separated for voters.
Florida Supreme Court delays execution scheduled for Tuesday
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court has indefinitely delayed the execution of a death row inmate who was scheduled to die next week for fatally stabbing a 63-year-old woman.
The court ruled unanimously Friday to stay the execution of Jose Antonio Jimenez, which was scheduled for Tuesday.
His attorney Martin McClain says the court will consider the lethal injection method of execution and information from North Miami Police case files on how evidence was obtained.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court will decide whether Gov. Rick Scott should get to pick a new judge for northeast Florida or if it should be left up to voters.
A divided court on Thursday agreed by a 4-3 vote to consider the case. Attorney David Trotti initially qualified to run for a circuit judgeship, but election officials then removed him because they said the position would be filled by Scott.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's Supreme Court will decide the fate of a dog-racing amendment that is supposed to be on this year's ballot.
The court on Tuesday scheduled oral arguments to be heard on Aug. 29. The state's 1st District Court of Appeal agreed to send the case to the Supreme Court instead of ruing on the matter.
Judge decries ‘outright trickeration’ on Florida ballot
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi wants the state Supreme Court to overturn a ruling that a dog-racing amendment on this year's ballot amounts to "outright trickeration."
A Florida judge ordered the proposed amendment removed, saying that the measure was crafted to mislead voters.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida prisoner serving a life sentence for a 1991 murder committed when he was 16 won't get a new sentencing hearing despite recent state and U.S. Supreme Court rulings that ban life sentences for juveniles.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Budry Michel's life sentence was constitutional because it included a possibility of parole after 25 years, so it doesn't necessarily mean Michel will spend life in prison.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court is ordering the immediate removal of a sitting circuit judge.
The high court on Monday issued an order to remove Circuit Judge Scott DuPont from the bench by the end of the business day. DuPont is a judge in the 7th judicial circuit which covers the counties of Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia. DuPont is from Putnam County.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man sentenced to death for hog-tying and bludgeoning a man is getting a chance to challenge his conviction because a juror said gay people are "morally depraved."
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ordered two new hearings for 55-year-old Eric Kurt Patrick. Patrick was convicted in 2009 of beating Steven Schumacher to death. He told authorities that Schumacher attempted to have sex with him.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge could face suspension and a fine for making racial comments to describe a defendant and members of the public.
The state's Judicial Qualifications Commission on Monday recommended that Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Stephen Millan be suspended for 30 days without pay and pay a $5,000 fine.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court is ruling in favor of the state commission that regulates utilities over an environmental group that challenged a rate hike by the Florida's largest electricity provider.
The court ruled Thursday that the Public Service Commission properly approved Florida Power & Light's $881 billion rate hike in 2016.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida lawyer convicted of helping Colombian cocaine kingpins launder money in the 1990s won't be getting his law license back.
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected Donald Ferguson's request to begin practicing law again.
Ferguson hasn't practiced law since 1995, when he was indicted on money laundering and obstruction of justice charges. He pleaded guilty in 1999 and was sentenced to two years in prison.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida drivers hoping the state Supreme Court will toss out their red light camera tickets won't be getting their fines returned.
The court rejected an argument Thursday that the city of Aventura gave too much power to an outside vendor to determine whether photos caught by the cameras were traffic violations.
The ruling preserves the state's red light camera law, which some lawmakers have unsuccessfully fought to rescind in recent years.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's highest court is going to take up a far-reaching lawsuit that contends the state is not properly funding public schools.
The Florida Supreme Court late Monday agreed to consider the lawsuit that was first filed in 2009 by education groups and parents. The lawsuit asserts that a lack of a funding for schools has been most damaging for minorities and students from poor families.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man on death row for kidnapping, raping and killing 11-year-old Carlie Brucia in a case that captured the nation's attention will get a new sentencing hearing.
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a hearing for Joseph Smith because the jury that recommended the death sentence wasn't unanimous.
The 2004 case received national publicity after a surveillance camera captured images of Smith taking Carlie away.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Citing an agreement he made to avoid execution, the Florida Supreme Court tossed a death sentence given to an escaped Louisiana inmate convicted of killing a graduate student.
The court unanimously ordered Thursday that Kentrell Johnson be sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 2010 kidnapping and killing of 29-year-old Florida State University graduate student Vincent Binder.
Correction: Florida Budget-Salaries
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — In a story March 8, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the proposed state budget includes a 36 percent pay rise for Florida Supreme Court justices, and that other judges also would receive raises. The budget proposes pay increases of 24 percent for Florida Supreme Court justices and none for other judges, who received raises in October.
Florida Court Rejects Appeal in Xbox Slayings
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected arguments that the ringleader in the 2004 murders of six people in a Deltona home is entitled to a sentence of life in prison.
Troy Victorino, who received four death sentences and two life sentences in the murders, based the appeal on issues related to a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case known as Hurst v. Florida and a subsequent Florida Supreme Court decision.
Florida death row inmate gets new sentencing hearing
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court is ordering a new sentence for a man involved in the deadly kidnapping of a young couple from South Beach.
The court on Thursday upheld the conviction of Joel Lebron, but tossed out his death sentence. The 39-year-old man is getting a new hearing because a jury recommended the death penalty by a 9 to 3 vote.
Florida Supreme Court tosses petition to block appointments
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court tossed out a petition Thursday that was attempting to stop Republican Gov. Rick Scott from appointing three Supreme Court justices on the day he leaves office.
The court said it couldn't rule on an action that hadn't yet happened, but the majority expressed no opinion on whether Scott would have the right to replace three justices who are forced to retire on the same day his replacement is sworn in.
The Latest: Mother found guilty in ‘Baby Lollipops’ killing
MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a Florida woman accused of fatally beating her toddler (all times local):
A Florida mother has been convicted of torturing her toddler to death in the so-called "Baby Lollipops" case that riveted the Miami area decades ago.
Commission: Florida judge should be suspended for favoritism
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A judicial commission is recommending that a Florida judge be suspended for a month for steering 80 percent of her arbitration cases to a mediator who was an unpaid adviser on her 2014 election campaign.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott loses bid to disqualify justice
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott's unusual push to disqualify a sitting state Supreme Court justice from a pending case has been quickly rejected.
The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday denied Scott's motion in a one-sentence ruling. The high court did not explain its decision.
Florida Supreme Court says some counties should lose judges
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court is asking the Legislature for four new judges, but at the same time the high court says there's no longer a need for 13 county judges in 10 counties.
The state Supreme Court on Wednesday issued its annual recommendations.
The justices certified the need for two additional circuit judges in the 9th Circuit, which covers Orange and Osceola counties in central Florida. The court also asked for two additional county judges in Hillsborough County.
Florida court: Dead or not, privacy right remains alive
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A widow's fight to keep her husband's medical records private in a malpractice lawsuit led the Florida Supreme Court to rule Thursday that the state constitution's right to privacy extends beyond death in any circumstance.
Lawyers for a doctor being sued for malpractice argued that the alleged victim's right to privacy ended when he died. The Supreme Court disagreed and said the "cherished" right to privacy extended beyond the specific case.
Florida Gov. raises questions about Supreme Court justices
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott is raising questions about how justices on the Florida Supreme Court are handling a case that could greatly affect the court's future.
Scott's general counsel this week asked the high court to hand over a document that Justice Barbara Pariente was seen discussing with Chief Justice Jorge Labarga during a court hearing. The Scott administration also asked for all raw audio recordings of the two hours justices were in court.
Florida court asked to stop possible “constitutional crisis”
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's highest court is trying to determine whether it needs to step in to avoid what some are calling a possible "constitutional crisis."
The Florida Supreme Court held a hearing Wednesday where an attorney for Gov. Rick Scott squared off against an attorney representing the League of Women Voters of Florida and other groups.
Florida Supreme Court rejects plea to stop pending execution
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Supreme Court is refusing to block the pending execution of a man convicted of killing two people.
The court ruled Wednesday against Patrick Hannon, who is scheduled to die Nov. 8.
Authorities say Hannon and two other men went to the Tampa apartment of 27-year-old Brandon Snider and 28-year-old Robert Carter in January 1991. One of the other men stabbed Snider several times when he answered the door, and then Hannon cut Snider's throat.
Owners of hit “Happy Together” lose Florida copyright case
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's highest court says owners of old music recordings can't make radio stations pay for their use, ruling in a dispute between the owner of The Turtles' 1967 hit song "Happy Together" and Sirius XM Radio.
The Florida Supreme Court sided with Sirius XM in a case that echoes other lawsuits. New York's highest court ruled in a similar case last December.
Florida Supreme Court denies death row inmate’s appeal
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's high court has denied the latest appeal of a man scheduled to be executed Thursday for two 1983 slayings.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled Friday in the case of Michael Lambrix, who was convicted of murder in the killings of Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant.
Prosecutors said he killed them after an evening of drinking at his trailer near LaBelle, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Fort Myers.
No driver’s license? No felony, Florida court rules
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — You can face felony charges in Florida for repeatedly driving with a revoked license — but if you don't bother getting a driver's license at all, apparently those charges don't apply.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that drivers can't face increased penalties for habitually violating traffic laws if they never obtained a license to begin with, an argument state lawyers said makes no sense.
Florida’s high court denies death row inmate’s appeal
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's high court has denied the appeal of a man scheduled to be executed next week for two 1983 slayings.
The Florida Supreme Court made its ruling on Tuesday in the case of Michael Lambrix, who was convicted of murder in the killings of Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant.
Prosecutors said he killed them after an evening of drinking at his trailer near LaBelle, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Fort Myers.
Judge suspended for using old endorsement for campaign
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Florida circuit court judge has been suspended without pay for 90 days for using a 20-year-old newspaper endorsement on a flier during her 2014 campaign.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the Florida Supreme Court publically reprimanded Judge Kim Shepard on Wednesday.
Florida uses new drug to execute man convicted of 2 murders
STARKE, Fla. (AP) — Florida has put a man to death with an anesthetic never used before in a U.S. lethal injection, carrying out its first execution in more than 18 months on an inmate convicted of two racially motivated murders.
Authorities said 53-year-old Mark Asay, the first white man executed in Florida for the killing of a black man, was pronounced dead at 6:22 p.m. Thursday at the state prison in Starke. Asay received a three-drug injection that began with an anesthetic called etomidate.