Florida Supreme Court


Florida’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday against a former used-car salesman and restaurant employee who challenged the authority of Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue coronavirus-related shutdown orders.

Florida Supreme Court Nixes Effort To Ban Assault Weapons

Jun 4, 2020
assault weapons

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a proposed constitutional amendment seeking to ban the possession of assault-style weapons does not meet requirements to be placed on the ballot in Florida.

One-Time Busboy Challenges Gov. DeSantis' Emergency Powers In Pandemic Dispute

May 28, 2020
William Abramson sits outside an office
Lauren Witte/Fresh Take Florida

The one-time busboy who is challenging the legal authority of Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue virus-related shutdown orders in Florida is a used-car salesman who worked for decades as a lawyer until he was banned from the courtroom last year in disputes over his behavior.

Just a day after hearing arguments in the case, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday ordered attorneys to file additional briefs in a battle about whether the state has properly carried out a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized medical marijuana.

Florida Supreme Court Conducts Historic Oral Arguments Using Video Screens

May 7, 2020

Breaking 175 years of tradition, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday did not meet in person for its oral arguments. This time, it used video conferencing and courtroom virtual backgrounds.

In a case that could have important implications for the medical-marijuana industry, Florida Supreme Court justices Wednesday waded into a battle about whether the state has properly carried out a 2016 constitutional amendment that broadly legalized marijuana for patients.


Nearly three years after lawmakers passed a controversial measure that sought to bolster charter schools, the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday turned down a constitutional challenge by county school boards.

empty jury box

Trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at courthouses across the state, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady on Monday extended a suspension of jury trials and many other in-person court proceedings through May.

Florida Supreme Court Won't Hear Cellphone Passcode Use

Apr 3, 2020

The question of whether police in Florida can legally force criminal defendants to unlock their cellphones will remain unresolved for now, after the state Supreme Court agreed not to consider the issue. 

Florida’s Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether to uphold a voter-approved sales tax to fund transportation projects in Hillsborough County.

Supreme Court Weighs Assault Weapon, Pot Proposals

Feb 5, 2020

Florida Supreme Court justices appeared critical Tuesday of proposed constitutional amendments aimed at preventing possession of assault-style weapons and allowing people to use recreational marijuana. 

Death Penalty Ruling Caps Busy Week For Florida Supreme Court, Legislature

Jan 25, 2020

Week two of the 2020 legislative session is in the books.

But bigger news was made this week at the Florida Supreme Court than at the building across the street, a Capitol chock full of lawmakers who are starting to develop session intrigue.

With Gov. Ron DeSantis expected to appoint two Florida Supreme Court justices early this year, a state panel is ready to interview 32 applicants for the powerful posts – including several from the Tampa Bay area.

The number of candidates for two seats on the Florida Supreme Court was updated to 32 on Thursday, as an initial list did not include an applicant who had submitted her information by a Christmas Eve deadline.

Many Floridians will spend part of this week tearing into presents, sipping eggnog or gazing at blinking Christmas lights as they gather with family and friends to celebrate the holidays.

But some top-notch lawyers and judges will be polishing their resumes as they try to get appointed to the Florida Supreme Court. Wannabes for two seats on the high court face a Tuesday deadline to submit applications.

Medical Malpractice Arbitration Cap Upheld

Dec 19, 2019

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

It’s dubbed a “jungle” primary system. And the Florida Republican and Democratic parties want no part of it.

Now, the Florida Supreme Court will decide whether a proposed constitutional amendment that would overhaul the state’s primary-election system will go before voters in November 2020.

People in line to vote
Mary Shedden/WUSF

Leaders of the Florida Republican and Democratic parties don’t agree on much.

But they --- along with Attorney General Ashley Moody --- are united on one thing: They want to scuttle a proposed constitutional amendment that would overhaul Florida’s primary-election system.

State Seeks To Put Lid On Styrofoam Fight

Nov 30, 2019

Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office Tuesday urged the Florida Supreme Court to reject an appeal in a battle about the city of Coral Gables’ attempt to ban the use of Styrofoam food containers. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Fresh Take Florida

The Florida Supreme Court began considering Wednesday whether a voter-approved constitutional amendment restoring the voting rights of felons who complete their sentences means they also have to pay court-ordered fines, fees and restitution.

In a case stemming from a woman’s lung-cancer death, an appeals court Friday urged the Florida Supreme Court to look again at whether the state has a medical-malpractice insurance “crisis” that justifies limiting damages in certain lawsuits.

Nine county school boards, including Polk County, are going to the Florida Supreme Court in a battle about the constitutionality of a controversial 2017 law that sought to bolster charter schools.

Parents, County Clash In Court Over Parkland Shootings

Aug 28, 2019
Florida established its risk protection law last year, following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland where 17 people were killed and another 17 wounded.

Parents whose children were killed or wounded during last year's Parkland high school massacre asked the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday to rule that each pull of the trigger was a separate occurrence for which the Broward County School Board should be held liable.

But a lawyer for the school board told the court the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was one "unfortunate" incident that left 17 students and staff dead and 17 people injured.

Florida's Republican governor on Friday asked the state's high court to rule on whether convicted felons must pay all fines and fees before getting their voting rights restored in a move that competes with ongoing litigation in federal court on that same question.

A petition aimed at banning assault weapons has earned a constitutional review by the Florida Supreme Court. Ban Assault Weapons Now, an organizations led by survivors of mass shootings and their families, announced Monday they had 103,000 signatures.

The Florida Supreme Court has quickly decided to take up a dispute about whether an insurance company can sue a law firm for alleged malpractice after the firm represented one of the insurer’s policyholders. 

Medicaid Expansion Plan Passes Key Threshold

Jun 4, 2019

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. 

More than 100 inmates condemned to death could face a major upheaval, as a revamped Florida Supreme Court ponders whether to undo a 2016 ruling that allowed nearly half of the state’s Death Row prisoners to have their death sentences revisited.

Petitions Top 42,000 For ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban

May 10, 2019

A political committee seeking to ban possession of assault-style weapons in Florida has submitted nearly 43,000 valid petition signatures to the state as it tries to get the issue on the November 2020 ballot. 

Florida Medicaid Expansion Bid Gathers Signatures

Apr 16, 2019

With more than $400,000 in backing since the beginning of the year, a political committee seeking to expand Medicaid through a constitutional amendment has submitted more than 21,000 petition signatures to the state, according to the Florida Division of Elections website.