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.

Appeals court sides with DeSantis on elimination of Black-access North FL congressional district

By: - May 20, 2022

A court order issued Friday means that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ congressional redistricting plan, which dismantles a North Florida district likely to elect a Black candidate, will be used for this year’s primary and general elections, at least for now. The unsigned order from Florida’s First District Court of Appeal dissolved Circuit Judge Layne Smith’s injunction […]

Florida’s courts moving quickly in fight over Gov. DeSantis’ congressional map

By: - May 19, 2022

The state’s courts are moving toward a quick decision about whether to allow Gov. Ron DeSantis to dismember Congressional District 5, a North Florida seat designed to allow Black people in Florida’s old plantation and sharecropping belt to send one of their own to Congress. In a brief filed Thursday with the Florida First District […]

DeSantis spreads misinformation about transgender people in public appearance

By: - May 18, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis ridiculed transgender people during a public appearance on Wednesday, referring to a champion trans woman swimmer as a “that” and mocking the possibility of pregnancy among trans men and nonbinary people. He cited trans woman Lia Thomas’ March championship in the women’s 500-yard freestyle competition as an example of a narrative the […]

Florida Constitution shields abortion rights — but might not for much longer

By: - May 18, 2022

The Florida Supreme Court’s embrace of abortion rights was sweeping, extending not only to adults but also to minors who feared abuse at the hands of parents or guardians should they reveal that they were pregnant. But that was in 1989 — more than three decades ago — in a case called In re T.W. […]

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. […]