JURIST legal news archive...

Hall v. Florida: Florida's IQ Cutoff Creates Unacceptable Risk of Eighth Amendment Violations
April 2, 2014
JURIST Guest Columnist Paul M. Smith of Jenner & Block discusses the recent oral arguments in Hall v. Florida...In 2002, the US Supreme Court held in Atkins v. Virginia that the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment contained in the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution forbid....... [more]

Appeals court finds 2012 Florida voter purge violated federal law
April 2, 2014
The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled Tuesday that the administration of Florida Governor Rick Scott violated federal law when attempting to remove "non-citizen" voters from the rolls in the 2012 presidential election. The court ruled that the voter purge before the election violate....... [more]

ACLU files lawsuit challenging Florida's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages
March 14, 2014
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida (ACLU) filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of eight same-sex couples against Florida challenging the state's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northe....... [more]

Florida Supreme Court denies immigrant bar certification
March 7, 2014
The Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that Tampa Immigrant Jose Godinez-Samperio, in the country illegally, may not be licensed to practice law in the state. Godinez-Samperio is a 26-year-old man who arrived to the US at age 9 and grew up in the Tampa area despite the expiration of hi....... [more]

Supreme Court hears oral arguments on death penalty for mentally retarded
March 3, 2014
The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday on the legal standard for assessing whether an individual is mentally retarded in order to determine that person's eligibility for the death penalty. In Hall v. Florida the court will decide "whether the Florida scheme for identifying mentally retarde....... [more]

Florida's Case for Marriage Equality: The Significance of the Right to Marry
February 28, 2014
JURIST Guest Columnist Judith E. Koons of Barry University School of Law situates in constitutional history the recent case by Florida same-sex couples, arguing that it is part of a compelling period in our nation's history that is likely to lead to marriages of same-sex couples to be recognized in....... [more]

Florida high court orders a review of lethal injection drug
February 9, 2014
Florida's highest court on Thursday ordered an evidentiary hearing to determine if the sedative midazolam should remain in the state's lethal injection procedure. The case of Paul Augustus Howell reached the state high court after a successful appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circ....... [more]

DOD asks court to dismiss Guantanamo funding information request
February 3, 2014
The US Department of Defense (DOD) on Friday asked the federal courts to dismiss a case brought by the Miami Herald demanding to know how much money the government spent to build a prison facility at Guantanamo. The news service requested this figure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but....... [more]

US, rights groups condemn Cuba dissident detentions
January 29, 2014
The US State Department, Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) joined Tuesday to condemn the Cuban government's detentions of dissidents to keep them away from a Havana summit of hemispheric leaders. According to rights activists in Havana, an estimated 100 pro-democracy activists....... [more]

Florida voters to decide on medical marijuana
January 28, 2014
The Florida Supreme Court on Monday approved a citizen initiative to vote on an amendment to the state constitution on the legality of medical marijuana. In a 4-3 ruling, the Supreme Court determined that the ballot initiative met the requirements of the Florida Constitution, that it encompassed onl....... [more]

Same-sex couples sue to overturn Florida marriage ban
January 22, 2014
Six same-sex couples and the Equality Florida Institute filed a lawsuit in a Florida state court on Tuesday seeking to overturn the state's ban on same-sex marriage marriage. The lawsuit argues that Florida's marriage laws violate the US Constitution by denying same-sex couples the legal protections....... [more]