Legal Updates

FELON VOTING RIGHTS A U.S. district court judge has ruled Florida’s procedure, in place since 2011, for felons to regain their voting rights unconstitutional. Governor Scott developed the system requiring a minimum five year wait after serving their sentence, probation and victim restitution before a felon could apply for restitution. Even after meeting those requirements, the judge stated the decisions were completely arbitrary, and therefore unconstitutional.

MARIJUANA GROWER In January, a Leon County circuit judge issued a temporary injunction to a black farmer who was denied the right to complete for a medical marijuana growing license because he was not a member of a specific association. The association had blocked new members from joining until such time as the license was awarded. The judge ruled the farmer had a good chance to see the underlying law ruled unconstitutional. The Legislature is working on language which would eliminate the membership requirement.

PATIENTS GROW MEDICAL MARIJUANA A Leon County judge has ruled that a patient diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer may be able to grow his own marijuana. The patient sued the State to allow him to grow plants arguing that only the raw juice from the plants, which is not allowed under adopted rules, helps his condition. The judge accepted his argument that the statute wording might be interpreted in his favor, and allowed the suit to move forward.

ABORTION WAITING PERIOD A Leon County judge blocked Florida’s proposed 24 hour waiting period prior to having an abortion requirement. He ruled that the state had failed to meet the standard of a “compelling state interest”. The State of Florida has filed a notice that they will be filing an appeal to that ruling.

JUDICIAL RESIGNATION Broward County circuit court judge Claudia Robinson has resigned after being accused of steering lucrative mediation work to an attorney who served as her campaign manager.