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.

State appeals court blocks stand-your-ground defense in assault case

By: - January 27, 2020

A state appeals court has upheld a battery conviction involving a firearm notwithstanding the accused’s stand-your-ground defense, in a case involving apparent confusion about a 2017 state law switching the burden of proof in these cases from the accused to prosecutors. The Legislature intended that law to benefit people claiming they resorted to firearms in […]

Federalist Society members abound among new crop of nominees for Florida Supreme Court

By: - January 23, 2020

A screening committee nominated nine candidates for two vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday. Every one is affiliated with the Federalist Society. Three have Hispanic roots. Four are men. Five are women. Only one is African American. The candidates, selected by a judicial nominating commission for the state’s highest court, have now cleared […]

FL Supreme Court advisory opinion on Amendment 4 is a win for governor, GOP; voting rights advocates vow to fight on

By: - January 16, 2020

The Florida Supreme Court sided with Gov. Ron DeSantis and legislative Republicans in an advisory opinion issued Thursday in which the court said 2018’s Amendment 4 requires ex-felons to pay any fines, fees, or restitution before they recover their right to vote. The five-member court (there are two vacancies at the moment) was unanimous on […]

PAC report: December saw DeSantis committee’s strongest fundraising haul of 2019

By: - January 16, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political committee closed 2019 by collecting more than $1.2 million, including two gifts of $100,000, according to data compiled by the Florida Division of Elections. Those big contributions came from Rahul Patel, a corporate transactions and finance partner with King & Spalding’s Atlanta office, and Anita Zucker, a billionaire philanthropist who lives […]

There’s plenty to cheer conservatives in Gov. DeSantis’ State of the State speech

By: - January 14, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered a State of the State address Tuesday that mixed progressive rhetoric with conservative priorities including a hard line on taxes, a new barrier to undocumented workers, and abortion restrictions for minors. The 33-minute speech, outlining the Republican governor’s wish list for the 2020 legislative session that opened on Tuesday, highlighted what […]

A year ago in January, Ron DeSantis became FL Gov. DeSantis: What do you think about his first-year record?

By: - January 7, 2020

At an inaugural ceremony in Tallahassee on Jan. 8, 2019, former congressman Ron DeSantis was sworn in as Florida’s governor. We’ve heard what DeSantis thinks of his first year in office – it was “an incredible year for Florida” with “historic accomplishments that are of the utmost importance to Floridians,” according to an assessment released […]

Daily exposure to trauma means stress disorder for Florida’s first responders

By: - December 31, 2019

Tampa paramedic Steve LaDue was attending a funeral for a fellow first responder when another colleague collapsed with a heart attack. As he was trained to do, LaDue rushed to treat the man, but failed to save his life. It was the last straw for a career dedicated to other people’s traumas. “My brother really […]


Nikki Fried, gun lobbyist Hammer rumble over appeal of state’s curb on local restrictions

By: - December 27, 2019

The NRA and the lone Democrat on the Florida Cabinet are trading barbs over a state law that sanctions local government officials who try to impose gun restrictions. Marion Hammer, the state’s top gun lobbyist, issued an alert to NRA members accusing Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried of “self-important arrogance” for […]

Florida Supreme Court

Applicants to fill vacancies would diversify the Florida Supreme Court

By: - December 27, 2019

Of the 32 applicants for two vacancies on the Florida Supreme Court, the seven with the best chance to see their names forwarded to Gov. Ron DeSantis include three state appeals judges, two trial judges, an international litigator, and an overseas development official. Two of the seven are African American males, and one is openly […]

Gov. DeSantis extends Hurricane Dorian emergency in 12 Florida counties

By: - December 26, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued a 60-day extension of the state of emergency he ordered in response to Hurricane Dorian, which spared Florida a direct hit during late summer but still inflicted damage here. In an executive order signed last week, the governor told the Florida Division of Emergency Management to continue coordinating repairs and […]

Gov. DeSantis hails his first-year accomplishments, but your view may vary

By: - December 23, 2019

Things went swimmingly for Florida during 2019 – at least, judging by year-end summaries issued by the governor’s office and state agencies. Aides to Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a long list of accomplishments for his first year in office in areas including education, economic development, health care, hurricane response and recovery, and public safety. He […]

Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking to reporters in the Capitol

Gov. DeSantis hasn’t made his case among African-American Floridians, poll suggests

By: - December 20, 2019

How is Gov. Ron DeSantis rating with Floridians nearly one year after he took office? Swimmingly, according to a Mason-Dixon poll of Floridians. In fact, the governor’s approval rating is under water with a single ethnic group  – African Americans. Even that was within the poll’s 4-point margin for error. The survey, conducted between Dec. […]