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.

State: Condemned man’s mental illness ‘not genuine,’ but a ploy to avoid execution

By: - June 8, 2023

Duane Eugene Owen is faking a schizophrenic delusion that he sexually assaulted and murdered two women in 1984 to capture their female essence, hoping to avoid execution next week, lawyers for the state argue in a brief filed with the Florida Supreme Court. A Bradford County trial judge properly concluded as much during a hearing […]

Florida Supreme Court

Condemned man’s lawyers cast doubt on fairness of psychiatric evaluation

By: - June 7, 2023

Lawyers for death row inmate Duane Eugene Owen are still attempting to block his scheduled execution next week, disputing a panel of three psychiatrists who concluded that he is sane enough to be put to death for murdering a woman with a hammer decades ago. In arguments filed Tuesday before the Florida Supreme Court, his […]

New law designed to protect privacy against Big Tech, especially for kids

By: - June 6, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis — back in Florida following a presidential campaign swing through key primary states — signed legislation Tuesday designed to protect Floridians’ privacy against tech companies that market their private information. He did so during a ceremony in Central Florida’s Wildwood, cheek by jowl with The Villages, the massive senior community where he’s […]

FL Supreme Court OKs execution next week in 1984 murder, sexual battery

By: - June 5, 2023

The Florida Supreme Court has cleared the way for the execution next week of Duane Eugene Owen for the sexual assault and murder of a Palm Beach County mother in 1984, rejecting claims including that he suffers brain damage as long ago adjudicated. The seven-member Supreme Court voted unanimously to uphold the death sentence, including […]

FL Supreme Court closer to abortion ruling, and maybe deciding DeSantis’ political future

By: - June 1, 2023

The Florida Supreme Court is drawing nearer to deciding whether the Florida Constitution protects the right to abortion. If the justices conclude it does not, they could boost Gov. Ron DeSantis’ standing among Republican presidential primary voters. Or not. Political observers tend to agree that a ruling along those lines could alienate the governor from […]

Billboard outside Orlando airport warns travelers of DeSantis’ anti-abortion policy

By: - May 30, 2023

Following travel advisories warning visitors that Florida might not be a welcoming place for Black, Hispanic, and LGBTQ+ people, now comes a warning that anyone capable of getting pregnant might also be better off in another state. Michigan, to be precise, according to a billboard just erected outside Orlando International Airport. It features Dr. Tim […]

DeSantis campaign fundraising draws FEC complaint; improper ‘soft money’ alleged

By: - May 30, 2023

A watchdog organization has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission accusing Ron DeSantis’ Florida political committee of transferring $86 million to a federally registered super-PAC backing his presidential election, in violation of federal law. The nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center alleged in a 52-page document that the old Friends of Ron DeSantis committee — […]

DeSantis OKs FL State Guard expansion — controlled by the governor; benefits for military veterans

By: - May 26, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed legislation expanding his Florida State Guard from its existing strength of 400 members to 1,500 members, one of a raft of military-related bills he approved on Friday as the Memorial Day holiday looms. DeSantis persuaded the Legislature last year to revive the State Guard, moribund since the end of World […]

DeSantis praises homeschoolers, gets in a dig at Donald Trump during speech

By: - May 26, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis took a swing at Donald Trump during a speech Friday for daring to suggest that the governor’s battle with The Walt Disney Co. was a mistake. The former president had posted on his Truth Social platform recently: “DeSanctus is being absolutely destroyed by Disney. His original P.R. plan fizzled, so now he’s […]

DeSantis’ signature on voting bill draws lawsuit from League of Women Voters of FL

By: - May 25, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed legislation making it much more burdensome for voter-registration groups to sign up new voters, prompting an immediate constitutional challenge from the League of Women Voters of Florida. The new law, SB 7050, was among 20 items of legislation that the governor signed before announcing his presidential candidacy on Wednesday. He […]

From the FL governor’s mansion to a presidential run, DeSantis faced travails and success

By: , and - May 24, 2023

Now that Gov. Ron DeSantis has filled out the federal paperwork to officially become a 2024 candidate for president of the United States, the Florida Phoenix has compiled a chronicle of the trajectory of DeSantis’ tenure, from moving into the governor’s mansion on Jan. 8, 2019, to a presidential run. The Phoenix, which launched on […]

LGBTQ+ groups raise alarm at political situation in GOP’s Florida; adds updated travel advisory

By: - May 23, 2023

Florida’s LGBTQ+ community is echoing African American and Hispanic organizations in issuing an updated travel advisory for Florida, citing legislation targeting the trans community, reproductive health care, and bans on books that discuss tricky racial and gender ideas. In a joint statement issued Tuesday, Equality Florida and the Human Rights Campaign referenced earlier warnings issued […]