ACLU, Broward sheriff brawl in court over COVID safeguards for inmates

BY: - September 30, 2021

The Broward Sheriff’s Office in South Florida has filed a sharply worded response to the ACLU’s complaint that it is violating a settlement agreement mandating COVID-19 protections for inmates at the Broward County Jail. In a 24-page pleading filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, attorneys for the […]

Twelve states revise counting of prisoners to address concerns about voting fairness, but not FL

BY: - September 27, 2021

Eleven states drawing new voting districts this year following the 2020 Census are breaking with tradition to address claims about political unfairness in the way prisoners are counted, but Florida isn’t one of them. A 12th state, Illinois, will join the group in 2030. Nine of those states – some of them responding to civil-rights […]

Discipline of minority schoolchildren in FL and elsewhere can be discriminatory and disturbing

BY: - July 30, 2021

In the fall of 2019, a little Black girl named Kaia Rolle was arrested at her Orlando school, allegedly for throwing a tantrum.  A police officer zip-tied her hands behind her back and placed her in the back of a police car for kicking a school staffer. Rolle was just 6 at the time, and […]

Groups sue to block enforcement of DeSantis’ anti-riot law as Cuban violators in FL go largely untouched

BY: - July 14, 2021

Civil rights groups have asked a federal judge to block enforcement of HB 1, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ crackdown on street protests, as thousands of opponents of Cuba’s communist government have violated the law by jamming streets in Florida. DeSantis proposed the legislation to the Florida Legislature following last summer’s Black Lives Matter demonstrations, which in […]

Citizen efforts to amend FL Constitution face cap on financial help, starting Thursday

BY: - June 30, 2021

Thirty-one active citizen initiatives to amend the Florida Constitution face a deadline Thursday that may, for some, dictate whether voters ever see them on a ballot. That’s because a new state law, Senate Bill 1890, signed into law May 7 and effective July 1, curtails how much money initiative campaigns may accept in contributions from […]

Supreme Court affirms transgender rights in declining to hear Virginia school bathroom case

BY: - June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will not hear a case of a transgender student in Virginia who was barred from using the boys’ bathroom, a decision that affirms lower-court rulings that said treating transgender students differently violates federal law. Justices on the top court offered no comment in declining to take […]

Teachers come under pressure as politicians, parents battle over ‘critical race theory’

BY: - June 14, 2021

WASHINGTON—Teachers from Tennessee to Iowa to Florida are swept up in a wave of outrage led by GOP politicians nationwide over how schools teach kids about race in U.S. history. Conservatives have pilloried much instruction about systemic racism as “critical race theory,” even when that academic term in some cases has never been mentioned. A […]

NAACP and ACLU add national clout to courtroom fight against FL’s new ‘anti-riot’ law

BY: - May 11, 2021

Florida’s new anti-riot/protest law targets people of color protesting racial injustice in the United States and subjects them to harsh treatment at the hands of the police they are criticizing, asserts a major lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday. It is the second lawsuit filed against the “Combating Violence, Disorder, and Looting and Law […]

Voting-rights and civil-rights advocates call for veto of GOP-driven election reforms

BY: - May 5, 2021

Twenty voting-rights and civil-rights organizations told Gov. Ron DeSantis Wednesday that he should veto elections-reform legislation sent for his signature by the Republican-led Florida Legislature. The group includes the Fair Elections Center based in Washington, D.C, and Florida chapters of All Voting is Local, American Civil Liberties Union, Anti-Defamation League, Common Cause, Faith in Florida, […]

Florida reacts to guilty verdicts in cop killing of George Floyd

BY: - April 20, 2021

The long-awaited verdicts — guilty as charged — in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin prompted swift reaction Tuesday from around the state of Florida. But as of 9 p.m., no statements had yet been issued by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who, the day before, proudly signed a controversial anti-protest law sparked by nationwide protests […]

Senate’s toned-down voting bill fails to stop backlash from election officials and voting-rights groups

BY: - April 15, 2021

Republican state lawmakers are backing down from plans to ban ballot drop boxes and to make it harder to request mail-in ballots, but that has not quelled widespread criticism of their efforts to make it harder to vote in the name of election integrity. A coalition of leading voting-rights and civil-rights organizations will convene on […]

“You can’t defend the indefensible”: House Republicans silent as Dems try to soften attack on trans athletes

BY: - April 14, 2021

An emotionally-charged and long-dreaded conversation is fully on display in the Florida Legislature, with the life and liberties of some of Florida’s most vulnerable communities, transgender folks, on the line. Wednesday, the state House is likely to pass a highly controversial bill, HB 1475, that would restrict transgender athletes from playing on the teams that […]