Michael Moline

Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.

For a second time, judge blocks state from using DeSantis’ congressional districts

By: - May 17, 2022

A state trial judge has forbidden the state from running this year’s midterm elections using the congressional redistricting map that Gov. Ron DeSantis forced the Legislature to enact, citing the prospect of “irreparable harm” to voters, especially North Florida Blacks. Circuit Judge Layne Smith, sitting in Leon County, insisted Monday that the state stick to […]

New FL law would ban protests outside private residences, including homes of school board officials

By: - May 16, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed legislation providing for jail terms of up to 60 days and $500 fines for protesting outside the homes of public officials and private citizens — like what’s been happening to U.S. Supreme Court justices since the leak of a draft opinion reversing Roe v. Wade. “Sending unruly mobs to private […]

State judge reinstates sprawling Black-oriented congressional district in North FL

By: - May 13, 2022

A state trial judge has rejected Gov. Ron DeSantis’ demand to dismantle Congressional District 5, a sprawling, Black-access congressional district in North Florida, citing language in the state Constitution forbidding diminishment of minority voting strength. Instead, Circuit Judge Layne Smith, sitting in Leon County, ordered adoption of a version of an existing congressional district that […]

Revised complaint: DeSantis congressional redistricting plan targeted Black voters

By: - May 12, 2022

Fresh arguments filed in a federal legal challenge to Florida’s new congressional redistricting plan accuse Gov. Ron DeSantis of blatant racism in diminishing Black voters’ ability to elect candidates of their choice in North and Central Florida. In an amended complaint filed Wednesday in Common Cause of Florida v. Lee, civil rights groups allege the […]

Judge rules FL’s congressional district plan is unconstitutional, biased against Blacks

By: - May 11, 2022

A state trial court judge has decided that Florida’s new congressional redistricting plan is unconstitutional to the extent it eliminates prospects that Blacks in North Florida will be able to elect a candidate of their choice. “I am finding that the enacted map is unconstitutional under the Fair District Amendment … because it diminishes African […]

11th Circuit frees Florida to enforce limits on voter registration, ballot drop boxes

By: - May 6, 2022

A federal appeal court has blocked enforcement of a trial judge’s ruling striking down key elements of a voting-restrictions law the Florida Legislature adopted last year, meaning the state can enforce those provisions during balloting this year. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit in part cited U.S. Supreme […]

Florida Supreme Court

Search begins for next FL Supreme Court justice: Hot-button cases wait in the wings

By: - May 5, 2022

The process has begun to fill the vacancy left on the Florida Supreme Court by the retirement on April 29 of Justice Alan Lawson, who resigned after being passed over for chief justice in favor of DeSantis appointee Carlos Muñiz. The vacancy presents an opportunity for Gov. Ron DeSantis to name a Black appointee to […]

DeSantis: Leaked U.S. Supreme Court document on abortion is a “huge breach”

By: - May 4, 2022

A day after protesters across Florida rallied to uphold abortion rights, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday reiterated that a leaked U.S. Supreme Court document related to the Roe v. Wade case “was a huge breach” of protocol. At the same time, DeSantis did not comment Wednesday on the potential of overturning the landmark Roe v. […]

DeSantis: SCOTUS leaker was attempting to ‘kneecap’ anti-Roe court majority

By: - May 3, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis — initially leery of commenting on the leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion reversing Roe v. Wade — now has denounced the disclosure as an attempt to bully or “kneecap” the court’s conservative wing. “We don’t have a statement on the leaked draft obtained by a news organization last night,” Christina Pushaw, […]

FL Dems denounce leaked abortion opinion; GOP denounces the leak itself

By: - May 3, 2022

Here’s a roundup of reaction from Florida’s political leaders to the Politico publication of a draft U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe. v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. If adopted by the court, such a ruling would allow states to ban or limit abortion rights. Gov. Ron DeSantis had no immediate response. “We don’t […]

DeSantis trashes press association, says no thanks to a Twitter move to Florida

By: - May 2, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis put the kibosh Monday on talk of luring Twitter Inc. to Florida after Elon Musk takes control of the company — presuming the deal goes through. He also commented on a Twitter tweet by David Smiley, D.C. editor for the Miami Herald, that his name appeared on a program for the White […]

Alan Lawson retiring from FL Supreme Court; balance shouldn’t shift much

By: - April 29, 2022

Justice Alan Lawson has announced his retirement from the Florida Supreme Court, effective on Aug. 31, giving Gov. Ron DeSantis another vacancy to fill on the state’s highest court. DeSantis used the retirement of three members of the court’s liberal wing at about the time he entered office to shift the court’s balance sharply in […]