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 denounces transgender woman’s victory in NCAA swimming championship

By: - March 22, 2022

As far as the National Collegiate Athletic Association is concerned, Lia Thomas’ win in last Thursday’s women’s 500-yard freestyle competition made her the first transgender athlete to win the national championship in that event. Gov. Ron DeSantis knows better, however. He signed a proclamation Tuesday naming Florida woman Emma Weyant the real winner on the […]

U.S. judge demands more information in lawsuit over Florida voting restrictions

By: - March 21, 2022

A federal judge has ordered parties to a lawsuit targeting last year’s state election restrictions to explain how a bill the Florida Legislature passed during its recent legislative session might affect the legal challenge. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee wasn’t happy that neither lawyers for the state nor civil- and voting-rights groups litigating […]

Florida Supreme Court

2022 session is already spinning lawsuits; a conservative FL Supreme Court awaits

By: - March 14, 2022

As the curtain dropped on a legislative session almost certain to spin off legal challenges to multiple new culture-war laws, not to mention the 15-week abortion ban, the Florida Supreme Court acquired a new chief justice. He is Carlos Muñiz, who’d been placed on the state’s highest court by Gov. Ron DeSantis soon after taking […]

Redistricting litigation now being waged on two fronts — state and federal court

By: - March 12, 2022

A second lawsuit has been filed amid the political impasse between Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature about how to redraw Florida’s congressional districts. This time, the venue is the federal court sitting in Tallahassee. As with a similar lawsuit filed Friday in a state trial court also in Tallahassee, the new action argues […]

Lawsuit filed as DeSantis, Legislature, face impasse over congressional districts

By: - March 11, 2022

Democratic-aligned voting-rights attorneys haven’t waited for Gov. Ron DeSantis to fulfill his promise to veto the Legislature’s plan for redrawing Florida’s congressional districts — they went ahead and filed suit on Friday asking a state trial court to intervene. Democracy Docket, co-founded by election-law attorney Marc Elias, filed a 13-page complaint on behalf of nine […]

Gov. DeSantis attacks Disney over its qualms about ‘Don’t Say Gay’ legislation

By: - March 10, 2022

Gov. Ron DeSantis has lashed out at critics of the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill that passed out of the Florida Legislature this week, singling out The Walt Disney Co. in particular for expressing reservations about the legislation. “Here’s what I can tell you: In the state of Florida, we are not going to allow […]

Catholic bishops: FL’s immigration crackdown legislation will exacerbate border crisis

By: - March 10, 2022

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a written statement lamenting the state Legislature’s vote to deny state and local government contracts to companies that help the federal government move asylum seekers into the state. The bill (SB 1808), granted final approval on Wednesday by the Florida House, is among a number of culture-war […]

Surfside-inspired condo reforms watered down; bill retains ‘milestone’ inspections

By: - March 10, 2022

Legislation, inspired by the Surfside condo disaster, to require “milestone” structural inspections of multi-resident buildings has cleared the Florida Senate but in a watered-down form. The measure still requires periodic inspections of multi-unit buildings statewide, but has lost language tightening regulation of condo and coop association budgeting and financial reserves, including money for maintenance and […]

DeSantis’ election-fraud squad, other voter restrictions, are headed to his desk

By: - March 9, 2022

The Florida House voted final approval on Wednesday to legislation creating an election-fraud investigation unit for Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been campaigning for voting integrity despite widespread agreement that the 2020 elections ran smoothly in the state. The vote was 76-41. Because the Senate had already approved the bill (SB 524), the measure goes […]

FL House sends immigration crack-down bill to Gov. DeSantis for his signature

By: - March 9, 2022

The Florida House voted Wednesday to OK Gov. Ron DeSantis’ proposal to deny state contracts to companies that transport asylum-seekers into Florida for federal immigration authorities, giving the governor a election-year win on another of his priorities. The 77-42 vote sends the bill (SB 1808) to the governor’s desk, since it has already cleared the […]

Florida’s legislative session headed for overtime as budget talks drag out

By: - March 9, 2022

Legislative leaders have given up on completing the 2022 regular session on schedule on Friday. That’s because negotiations over a $100 million-plus state budget for the fiscal year beginning on July 1 have taken too long. That appropriations bill is the one measure the Legislature absolutely has to pass. Yet the House and Senate legally […]

DeSantis’ immigration crackdown ready for its final vote on FL House floor

By: - March 8, 2022

Florida House Republicans beat back Democratic efforts to soften legislation pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that would deny state and local government contracts to companies that provide transportation to “unauthorized” aliens under a federal program. The votes to defeat nine Democratic amendments set up a floor vote, possibly as early as Wednesday. The measure has […]