Supreme Court

Medical Malpractice ‘Crisis’ Case Dropped

Feb 10, 2020
Gavel and a stethoscope
Flickr Creative Commons

A case that raised questions about whether Florida has a medical-malpractice insurance “crisis” has been dropped, according to a document filed late Thursday at the Florida Supreme Court. 

Jan. 22 marks the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark court case that legalized abortion nationwide. People on both sides of the furious debate say this could be the year when everything changes.

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear its first abortion case since Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced Anthony Kennedy, who had been the swing vote on abortion cases. A decision is expected by summer.

Pointing to a “narrow timeframe” for meeting petition-signature requirements, backers of a proposed constitutional amendment to allow recreational marijuana use in Florida said Monday the measure will not go on the November ballot.

You're forgiven if in the holiday blur you missed that a federal appeals court in New Orleans has once again put the future of the Affordable Care Act in doubt. Or if you missed the news last week that a group of Democratic state attorneys general has asked the Supreme Court to hear the case in this term — which ends in June. That would mean a decision could come right in the middle of the 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns.

Medical Malpractice Arbitration Cap Upheld

Dec 19, 2019
Stethoscope and gavel against a white backdrop.
Wikimedia Commons

A South Florida appeals court Wednesday upheld the constitutionality of a cap on damages in medical-malpractice cases tied to an arbitration system. 

The U.S. Supreme Court examined Obamacare for the fifth time on Tuesday, only this time the justices cast their skeptical gaze on Republican efforts to hobble the law.

Enacted by a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2010, the Affordable Care Act promised to partially reimburse insurers if they lost money by covering people with preexisting conditions. The law said that the government "shall" make these payments. But in 2015, Republicans, by then in control of both houses of Congress, attached riders to appropriations bills barring the use of the money for the promised payments.

Workers’ Comp Rates To Drop 7.5 Percent

Oct 25, 2019
Mercedes Marler (Flickr)

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier on Thursday ordered an average 7.5 percent reduction in workers’ compensation insurance rates effective Jan. 1. 

A decision in the latest court case to threaten the future of the Affordable Care Act could come as soon as this month. The ruling will come from the panel of judges in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard oral arguments in the Texas v. Azar lawsuit.

An estimated 24 million people get their health coverage through programs created under the law, which has faced countless court challenges since it passed.

Immigration advocates say 7,200 Florida children could be harmed if their parents lose Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – or DACA - benefits that allow them to stay in the country. 

The United States Supreme Court will consider oral arguments Nov. 12 in a case brought by the Trump Administration that would take away those benefits. 

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aiguilles_d_acupuncture_en_eventail.dsc02258.cropped%2Bcontrast.jpg
Xhienne / Wikimedia Commons

A legal battle about a property-tax exemption for a Gainesville acupuncture school is headed to the Florida Supreme Court. 

Florida Supreme Court
Flickr

The Florida Supreme Court has scheduled February arguments for proposed constitutional amendments that would ban assault weapons and legalize recreational marijuana. 

Key Medical Marijuana Issue Goes To Supreme Court

Sep 3, 2019
Samples of medical marijuana shown on display
Wikimedia Commons

Days after a split appeals court refused to revisit a decision that could revolutionize the way medical marijuana operators do business in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration has asked the state Supreme Court to take up the case. 

The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected appeals by Death Row inmate Gary Ray Bowles, who is scheduled to be executed next week for the 1994 murder of a Jacksonville man who was hit in the head with a concrete block and strangled.

Florida Supreme Court Agrees To Take Hospital ER Liability Case

Jul 25, 2019
Emergency responders providing care to a patient in the back of an ambulance.
Peter Haden/WLRN

In a case stemming from the death of a woman after a botched cosmetic procedure, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to decide whether a hospital can be liable for treatment provided by emergency-room doctors who are independent contractors. 

Joe Redner Takes Marijuana Fight To Supreme Court

Jun 27, 2019
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Prominent Tampa strip-club owner Joe Redner went to the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday in a dispute about whether he should be able to grow his own medical marijuana to help fight lung cancer. 

Medicaid Expansion Plan Passes Key Threshold

Jun 4, 2019
Florida Supreme Court
Flickr

A proposed constitutional amendment that would expand eligibility for the Medicaid program has passed a key initial threshold, readying it for review by the Florida Supreme Court. 

Florida Supreme Court
Flickr

In a civil lawsuit stemming from a man killing four of his stepchildren in 2010, plaintiffs are asking the Florida Supreme Court to take up a dispute about how much money a state agency can be required to pay because of allegations of negligence.

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Siding with an insurer in a case stemming from the treatment of an auto-accident victim, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday said a 2000 state law focused on Southwest Florida’s Lee Memorial Health System is unconstitutional.

Florida Supreme Court
Flickr

A divided Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against an anesthesiologist in a Miami-Dade County medical-malpractice case involving a woman who died while undergoing surgery in 2009 for a tumor in her skull.

Florida Supreme Court
Flickr

In a case that started with an altercation at a Jacksonville Beach bar, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a car could be considered a “weapon” in increasing the prison sentence of a man convicted of manslaughter.

Wikimedia Commons

Philadelphia's tax on soda and other sweetened drinks was upheld on Wednesday when the state's highest court rejected a challenge by merchants and the beverage industry.

Supreme Court Justices Reject 10 More Death Penalty Appeals

Feb 4, 2018

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday turned down appeals by 10 longtime Death Row inmates, as it continued rejecting batches of similar cases.

The court has rejected 80 such appeals during the past two weeks in eight batches. Like the earlier cases, Friday’s rulings involved Death Row inmates who were sentenced before a 2002 cutoff date.

After years of conflict, the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up the case over Florida and Georgia’s water disputes. Somewhat surprisingly, the justices seem sympathetic to Florida’s problems, and that has some of the state’s advocates feeling optimistic.

Army Corps Gives Input In Florida-Georgia Water Battle

Aug 9, 2017
mnfoundations / Flickr

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a key player in Florida's decades-old legal fight with Georgia over water flow in the Apalachicola River, has weighed into the pending case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Medical Records Case Goes To U.S. Supreme Court

Jun 8, 2017
wp paarz / Flickr

Arguing that a Florida Supreme Court ruling “undermines” a federal patient-safety law, a Jacksonville hospital system is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a legal battle about the disclosure of medical records.


It’s been a year of confusion for Florida’s roughly 400 death penalty cases. A series of court cases called the ultimate punishment unconstitutional, but a new law rapidly passed by lawmakers and signed by Gov. Rick Scott changes the state's death penalty to require unanimous juries to hand down a death sentence.

Florida lawmakers seem likely to approve unanimous jury sentences for death penalty cases in the opening weeks of this year’s legislative session.  But some warn there could be another crisis around the corner.

Florida is one step closer to reinstating the death penalty.

After a year of turmoil for the state’s death penalty, one Florida legislator is trying to rein things in a bit. House Judiciary Chairman Chris Sprowls has proposed a bill that would bring the state’s death penalty in line with several state court and U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have thrown the sentence into limbo.

See WLRN's documentary about Florida's death penalty in limbo here.

Florida is on the cusp of joining nearly every other death penalty state in requiring a unanimous jury sentence.

The Florida Legislature is preparing its response to a state Supreme Court decision requiring unanimous jury decisions for the death penalty.

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