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.

DeSantis to dangerous gun ‘nut jobs’: ‘You’re not going to walk out of there alive’

By: - June 8, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that he prefers to target gun “lunatics” rather than gun rights to prevent mass shootings. During a news conference he called in Fort Myers Beach to highlight his environmental record, the governor replied to a reporter’s question about guns by seeming to lament the closure of large mental hospitals decades […]

DeSantis scraps another Cabinet meeting, canceling state business; Fried calls it ‘an insult’ to Floridians

By: - June 7, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis has cancelled a meeting of the Florida Cabinet again, prompting complaints from Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried that the governor is evading oversight under Florida’s unique executive branch mechanism. The three Cabinet members — Fried, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis — are top statewide […]

DeSantis doesn’t blame Abbott, despite ‘egregiously unsanitary’ conditions at infant formula plant

By: - June 6, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis blamed the Biden administration for the shortage of infant formula within the United States, suggesting manufacturer Abbott Laboratories, in Michigan, was blameless in a plant shutdown that left parents scrambling to provide nourishment for their babies. The governor addressed the matter during a news conference in Jacksonville as another of the supply […]

Do-over? Renatha Francis back in running for a seat on the Florida Supreme Court

By: - June 1, 2022

Second time could prove the charm for Renatha Francis, the Palm Beach County trial judge whom Gov. Ron DeSantis attempted to place on the Florida Supreme Court two years ago only to be knocked back by the high court itself. That rebuff — because Francis hadn’t belonged to the Florida Bar for the 10 years […]

New court ruling appears to favor DeSantis’ plan to abolish Black-access district in North FL

By: - May 27, 2022

A Florida appellate court ruled Friday that a trial judge abused his authority in ordering state government to retain a Black-access congressional district in North Florida before holding a full trial on whether the state’s Fair District amendment required doing so. The 20-page opinion (docket here) from the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee […]

Gov. DeSantis’ silence on Texas school murders fits a pattern, his critics contend

By: - May 26, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis has not shied away from commenting on national and international controversies. China, Venezuela, our southern border — he’ll opine at great length and ferocity. About the mass murder this week in Uvalde, Texas — where an 18-year-old shot to death 19 small kids and two teachers — he has uttered not a […]

hurricane cleanup

GOP-controlled FL Legislature OKs property-insurance overhaul; some Dems call it a bailout

By: and - May 25, 2022

Legislation intended to shore up Florida’s crumbling insurance industry is ready to send to Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign following a three-day special session of the Florida Legislature to address the deteriorating marketplace, skyrocketing premiums, and widespread policy cancellations on the eve of hurricane season. The state Senate adopted the package on Tuesday and the […]

Finally: Surfside-inspired condo reforms pass FL Legislature during its special session

By: - May 25, 2022

Thirty days before the one-year anniversary of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, which killed 98 people, the Florida Legislature has finally approved legislation designed to keep the tragedy from happening again. The 110-0 vote Wednesday in the state House, following approval by the Senate the day before, is now on […]

Appeals court won’t send congressional redistricting challenge to FL Supreme Court

By: - May 24, 2022

A state appellate court has refused to transfer litigation over Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to erase a Black-access congressional District to the Florida Supreme Court, increasing the likelihood the governor’s plan will apply during this year’s primary and general elections. The First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee said No to the request by voting-rights […]

FL Legislature takes up Surfside-inspired condo-safety bill during its special session

By: - May 24, 2022

Update: The House Appropriations Committee approved HB 5-D late this afternoon. The Senate approved SB 4 Tuesday evening, related in part to condominium and cooperative association buildings that are three or more stories. It is connected with the Surfside tragedy. The Florida Legislature voted Tuesday to extend its special session on property insurance to take […]

Federal appeals court hobbles DeSantis’ attack on social media companies; cites First Amendment

By: - May 23, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis was certain in his faith that a federal appeals court would side with him on his attempt to punish social media companies that he accuses of censoring conservative voices. On Monday that court — the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit — let him down. It decided against him on […]

Lawmakers gather at FL Capitol to attempt to solve state’s growing insurance crisis

By: - May 23, 2022

The Florida Senate opened a special session on Monday to debate a $2 billion plan to stabilize Florida’s property insurance market, which has been plagued by insurer insolvency and dropped homeowner policies. The Senate convened at 9 a.m. and, before sending the package to the Appropriations Committee, took time to honor Senate Secretary Debbie Brown, […]