Jim Saunders - News Service of Florida

Jim Saunders is the Executive Editor of The News Service Of Florida.

The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to hear a case that challenged the constitutionality of a law that gives power to the State Board of Education in the approval of charter schools.

Justices turned down an appeal by the Palm Beach County School Board, which argued the law violates part of the state Constitution that gives local school boards the authority to “operate, control and supervise” public schools in their districts. As is common, the Supreme Court issued a one-page order that did not explain its reasons for declining to hear the case.

Liz Dudek, a longtime state health official who helped lead an overhaul of the Medicaid program, is retiring as secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday.

Dudek, who has served as secretary since March 2011, shortly after Scott took office, will be replaced on an interim basis by Deputy Secretary Justin Senior. Dudek's retirement from the $141,000-a-year job is effective Oct. 3.

Nearly eight years after a Sarasota County woman committed suicide, the Florida Supreme Court said Thursday her husband can pursue a lawsuit against a physician about care provided before her death.

BRANDONRUSH (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

Describing the misconduct as "essentially unprecedented," the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that two attorneys should be permanently disbarred for their roles in setting up the drunken-driving arrest of an opposing lawyer during a high-profile case.

Opponents of a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana gave a glimpse of their strategy Monday by releasing a video alleging the measure would lead to a plethora of "pot shops" similar to the marijuana industry in California.

Pointing to what it described as "significant risk" for the public, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday called for cracking down on lawyer-referral services that cater to accident victims.

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga will undergo surgery this month for removal of a kidney after being diagnosed with cancer, the court announced Friday.

The announcement did not specify a date for the surgery at UF Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, but Labarga is expected to be hospitalized for seven days. The announcement said he will start working remotely soon after surgery, with Barbara Pariente --- the court's longest-sitting member --- serving as acting chief justice during any time he is incapacitated.

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Two Republican lawmakers Monday filed proposals that would allow people with concealed-weapons licenses to carry guns on college and university campuses, setting the stage for a renewed debate about the controversial issue.

Senate Criminal Justice Chairman Greg Evers, R-Baker, and Rep. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, filed the bills (SB 68 and HB 4001) for lawmakers to consider during the 2016 legislative session, which starts in January.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist appears likely to run for a Pinellas County congressional seat in 2016, two years after losing a comeback bid for the governor's mansion.

Crist said Monday he will run for Congress if, as expected, he is included in a newly redrawn district that would be friendly to Democrats.

"If the new congressional map includes my home, I intend on running to serve the people again,'' said Crist, a St. Petersburg Democrat who was elected governor in 2006 as a Republican but later switched parties.

In a case that started with a tourist brandishing a gun during a traffic dispute, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday said people who use the state's controversial "stand your ground" legal defense have the burden of proving they should be shielded from prosecution.

The 5-2 ruling dealt with a key part of the way the state has carried out the "stand your ground" law, which in part provides immunity to people who use justifiable force in self-defense.

In a victory for school-choice supporters, a circuit judge Monday tossed out a constitutional challenge to a state program that helps send tens of thousands of low-income children to private schools.

Leon County Circuit Judge George Reynolds ruled that plaintiffs in the case --- spearheaded by the Florida Education Association teachers union --- did not have legal "standing" to challenge the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program.

  Five months after narrowly rejecting a medical-marijuana ballot initiative, Florida voters overwhelmingly support allowing doctor-prescribed pot in the state, according to a poll released