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.

Evidence in lawsuit points to DeSantis inconsistency on congressional districts

By: - October 2, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed the Legislature’s efforts to draw a Black opportunity congressional district in North Florida while letting state House and Senate districts drawn along the same principles pass into law without objection. That testimony came Monday in a lawsuit challenging the redistricting plan the governor forced on the Legislature last year on grounds […]

U.S. sues Pensacola furniture store, insurance company, over vaccine mandates

By: - September 29, 2023

The federal government has filed lawsuits against two companies for refusing to grant religious exemptions to workplace COVID vaccine mandates, including one case involving a worker in Florida. That matter involves an assistant manager at a Hank’s Furniture store in Pensacola, which fired the worker on Oct. 31, 2021, after rejecting her request for a […]

Testimony: N. FL Blacks lost attention from Congress after DeSantis destroyed district

By: - September 27, 2023

When he was a congressman representing portions of Tallahassee, Al Lawson steered through Congress a measure renaming the city’s main post office after Edwina Stephens, the “mother of the Southside,” the predominantly Black area where the building is located. By the time the naming ceremony transpired this June 10, Lawson, a Black Democrat, had lost […]

Federal trial opens in DeSantis’ congressional redistricting plan that killed a Black-held seat

By: - September 26, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis knew more than the Florida Supreme Court about the constitutionality of a congressional redistricting plan that eliminated a Black-held seat in North Florida, a top aide to the governor testified Tuesday in federal court in Tallahassee. Alex Kelly — DeSantis’ acting chief of staff, who was waist-deep in redistricting negotiations with the […]

Fight about abortion breaks out between Trump and DeSantis in the GOP presidential race

By: - September 25, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis fears Donald Trump’s recently expressed qualms about banning abortion after six weeks could fuel a pending state constitutional amendment drive to protect the right to abortion in Florida. The governor spoke during an interview on Glenn Beck’s podcast that was released Monday, after Beck asked about Trump’s statement during an interview with […]

Eleventh Circuit won’t budge, reaffirms Florida’s 2021 voting restrictions law

By: - September 21, 2023

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has refused to take a second look at a voter suppression law passed in Florida three years ago, over a dissent complaining that the court majority was breaking promises made in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments. The effect is to let stand a split ruling […]

FL state workers see expansion of parental leave under new rules

By: - September 19, 2023

Employees in three dozen Florida state agencies will see as much as nine weeks of paid maternal leave and two weeks leave for fathers under rules adopted this week by Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet. Previously, new parents had to cobble together leave periods using their paid annual or sick leave. “Compared to […]

Dem leader: Loss in GOP primary could weaken Gov. DeSantis with Legislature

By: - September 18, 2023

Would losing the Republican presidential nomination mellow Gov. Ron DeSantis? The leader of the state House Democrats doesn’t necessarily think so, but she does think the balance of power between the Capitol’s Plaza Level and Fourth Floor might shift. The Plaza contains the governor’s office; the House and Senate chambers are on the Fourth Floor. […]


Under DeSantis, FL has become the bellwether state for voter disenfranchisement

By: - September 15, 2023

This commentary is available for republication as part of U.S. Democracy Day, a nationwide collaborative on Sept. 15, the International Day of Democracy, in which news organizations cover how democracy works and the threats it faces. To learn more, visit   The book “Laboratories of Democracy” appeared in 1988, positing that individual states were poised to experiment […]

On the cusp of his 45th birthday, DeSantis plays the age card against Biden, Trump

By: - September 13, 2023

Ron DeSantis was a wee lad of six when Ronald Reagan, then 73, performed jiu jitsu on questions about his age as he campaigned for reelection as president in 1984. “I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent’s youth and inexperience,” Reagan said of Democratic contender Walter Mondale. We might forgive DeSantis […]

Federal judge allows Florida to enforce ban on transgender care for adults

By: - September 12, 2023

The same federal judge who enjoined enforcement of Florida’s new limits on transgender care for minors has declined to do the same on behalf of adults who have joined the underlying lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle on Monday concluded that four adult plaintiffs hadn’t established evidence that they’d suffer unduly if the law continued […]

Ron, Casey DeSantis visit 9/11 Memorial, connect attacks to immigration policies

By: - September 11, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis observed the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on Monday by attending the ceremony at the memorial in New York and asserting that the attack on the World Trade Center was at heart a result of immigration policies. Neither the governor’s office nor his campaign issued any notice of his appearance at […]