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.

COVID-19 infections climb to 658, and death toll to 12

By: - March 21, 2020

State health officials reported an additional 95 positive lab tests for COVID-19 on Saturday morning, bringing the total of positive cases to 658. Twelve patients have died, an addition of two since Friday evening. Among Florida residents, the caseload as of 11 a.m. was 603, roughly split between results from Florida Department of Health and […]

Nothing ambiguous about it: Bars, restaurants in Florida ordered closed (but you can buy booze for takeout)

By: - March 20, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ latest COVID-19-related emergency order unambiguously closes bars and restaurants across the state of Florida, although they’re allowed to sell alcohol to go as long as it’s part of a food order. Fitness centers also will have to close their doors. The governor had already ordered bars and nightclubs closed in pursuit of […]

Gov. DeSantis clamps down on beaches, entertainment venues in two South Florida counties

By: - March 20, 2020

You can’t go to the movies, gym, or beach in Broward or Palm Beach counties anymore — or really any place where people are likely to gather in defiance of COVID-19-related social distancing strictures — under a new executive order signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. That and other orders took effect Friday to help contain […]

Gov. DeSantis open to blocking evictions during COVID-19 crisis

By: - March 19, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday that he favors a moratorium on evictions to help Floridians who can’t pay the rent because the COVID-19 pandemic has forced them out of their jobs. “I need to see what my authority would be, how it would work,” the governor said during a news conference in Tallahassee. “If we’re […]

Florida Supreme Court

FL Supreme Court nominees will just have to wait — Gov. DeSantis is tied up fighting COVID-19

By: - March 19, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis will miss Monday’s deadline for naming two new members of the Florida Supreme Court. Blame COVID-19. Although he has interviewed at least some of the nine people nominated to fill the vacancies on the state’s high court, “I have not had time to really read all the opinions in the way I […]

Florida Capitol

FL Legislature approves state budget amid fears COVID-19 could wreck their plan

By: - March 19, 2020

The Florida Legislature, its numbers diminished amid concerns that travel between members’ districts and Tallahassee could facilitate spread of COVID-19, approved a $93.2 billion state budget Thursday intended to fund the state through the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Only 104 of the 120 members of the state House were on hand to […]

‘No. 1 priority’ for Gov. DeSantis is acquiring COVID-19 test equipment, including protective gear

By: - March 18, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed frustration Wednesday at the difficulty state health officials are having acquiring equipment they urgently need to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly swabs to collect test samples and protective gear for medical workers. “If you look at the last two, three weeks, this is probably the biggest rush to get medical supplies […]

‘Suspicious’ package outside FL Press Center contained coins, marbles, hair ties; addressed to ‘The White Hoose’

By: - March 17, 2020

A “suspicious” package that forced police to clear an area of downtown Tallahassee that includes the Florida Press Center on Monday night contained about 70 cents in quarters and pennies and other small items. The items were contained within two manila envelops stuffed inside a mailing envelope that a FedEx employee found at around 7 […]

Gov. DeSantis closing bars as COVID-19 deaths hit seven in Florida; local option on beach closures

By: - March 17, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered the closure of bars across Florida and taken steps to kick out any college students still on Florida campuses as the death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic reached seven in the state and total cases recorded surpassed 200. During a short news conference in the state Capitol Tuesday morning — […]

Gov. DeSantis leaving closure of beaches, bars, and restaurants to local government discretion

By: - March 16, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced a $50 million bridge loan program and tax assistance to help small businesses survive the hit they’re taking from the COVID-19 epidemic. What he hasn’t announced was the broad state-level swipe that he’d signaled over the weekend against large gatherings at restaurants, bars, and beaches. During a news conference Monday […]

FL legal system essentially grinds to a halt; courts restrict access, delay jury trials to contain COVID-19

By: - March 16, 2020

Florida Chief Justice Charles Canady has ordered court personnel, including judges, to stay away from the state’s courthouses for 14 days if they’ve traveled internationally or to hot spots for COVID-19 within the United States, or have taken a sea cruise. Meanwhile, the federal court that hears appeals from Florida and other Southeastern states has […]

Gov. DeSantis eyes Spring Break crowds for COVID-19 crackdown; drive-through tests coming to Broward

By: - March 15, 2020

Florida’s state leaders are considering deploying restaurant- and bar-licensing officials to crack down on large Spring Break gatherings and possibly encouraging restaurateurs to at least create more space between diners to help contain spread of COVID-19. “Florida is not going to be a place where you’re going to be out ‘til 2 in the morning […]