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.

Legislature issues last-minute special-session call for next week

By: - February 3, 2023

House and Senate leaders have called a special session of the Florida Legislature beginning on Monday to take up items including the future of the Walt Disney Co.’s private government and to add money to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ asylum seeker removal fund. The special session is scheduled to close on Friday, Feb. 17. “In coordination […]

Justices strip ‘fairness and diversity’ from Florida’s judicial education programs

By: - February 3, 2023

Florida judges no longer will need to learn how to at least try to ensure “fairness and diversity” while applying the law under a rule change that the Florida Supreme Court has adopted by a nearly unanimous vote. Florida’s Code of Judicial Conduct still requires 30 hours of classes every three years about “judicial professionalism, […]

Did DeSantis endorse abortion ‘heartbeat’ legislation? Nope — not really

By: - February 2, 2023

Democrats have leapt to denounce Gov. Ron DeSantis’ apparent endorsement of a ban on abortion in Florida after six weeks’ gestation. But that endorsement is less solid than it might seem. During a news conference Wednesday in which he released his $114.8 billion budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, the […]

DeSantis proposes $115 billion in state spending plus a big chunk for state reserves in 2023-24

By: - February 1, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis wants state government to spend nearly $115 billion during the fiscal year due to begin on July 1, while holding $15.7 billion in reserve against unforeseen contingencies, including a possible recession. The actual bottom line would be $114.8 billion should the Legislature pass DeSantis’ budget as proposed; legislative leaders will have their […]

Professor emerita to FL Dems: Voters want diverse candidates; ‘someone who’s inspirational’

By: - February 1, 2023

Those public opinion polls matching Gov. Ron DeSantis and other presidential aspirants against Joe Biden and Donald Trump? Pay them no nevermind, a leading Florida political scientist advised during a speech in Tallahassee this week. “These polls that are being taken right now are nothing but clickbait,” Susan MacManus, professor emerita at the University of […]

Florida GOP, sheriffs, pursue permitless carrying of firearms; Dems call it reckless, dangerous

By: - January 30, 2023

Legislative Republicans have taken the first step toward allowing any adult Floridian without a criminal record to carry concealed weapons free of any need to take gun-safety classes or register with the state. They wouldn’t be allowed to openly pack handguns, as in the Wild West. Still, Democrats warned that bills introduced Monday in the […]

Florida police chiefs: We ‘do not support what happened’ to Tyre Nichols

By: - January 27, 2023

Florida’s police chiefs have denounced the actions by Memphis, Tenn., police officers that resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols following a traffic stop on Jan. 7. Authorities in Memphis planned to release police bodycam footage of the attack Friday evening. “Based on what we know, the actions and conduct of the officers involved were […]

DeSantis’ ‘law and order’ agenda: execute child rapists, target rainbow fentanyl, ban no-cash bail

By: - January 26, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ pro-death penalty agenda grew wider on Thursday when he called for capital punishment for anyone who sexually assaults a child, even when the attacks don’t result in the child’s death. That would require the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn its 2008 precedent reserving the death sentence only for crimes that result in […]

Governor’s office makes it clear: No reinstatement for suspended prosecutor

By: - January 26, 2023

Gov. Ron DeSantis will not return suspended Andrew Warren to his post as the twice-elected state’s attorney for Hillsborough County. That much is clear from a written statement issued by the governor’s office, emphasizing that “Mr. Warren remains suspended from the office he failed to serve.” Warren asked DeSantis on Wednesday in a letter to […]

Warren asks that Gov. DeSantis reinstate him as Hillsborough prosecutor

By: - January 25, 2023

Andrew Warren wrote Wednesday to Gov. Ron DeSantis seeking reinstatement as state’s attorney for Hillsborough County, arguing that the governor is duty-bound to do so. “The facts are now known and the court’s findings are clear: I engaged in zero misconduct; the allegations in the executive order are false; and the suspension violates federal and […]

Reining in drug-market middlemen’s ‘rebate’ payments might be complicated

By: - January 25, 2023

Work has begun on one of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ priorities for the regular legislative session, due to open in March: constraining pharmacy benefits management companies that control the flow of prescription drugs to individual patients. A 90-minute hearing by a House committee demonstrated that the job will be a tricky one, given interlocking ownership and […]

Florida Supreme Court agrees to decide the fate of state’s 15-week abortion ban

By: - January 23, 2023

Florida’s 15-week abortion ban is now in the hands of the Florida Supreme Court, which must decide whether to overrule its own longstanding precedent protecting reproductive freedom under the state constitution’s privacy language. Abortion providers, including Florida Planned Parenthood affiliates, wanted the state’s high court to expedite deliberations over the law and to block its […]