10 Florida lawsuits to watch in 2023

TAllahassee — From abortion to Big Tech to guns, Florida enters 2023 with courts weighing high-profile legal battles. Here are 10 questions to focus on:

abortion: The Florida Supreme Court is considering challenging a new law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. But the case could have broader ramifications, as the state wants judges to overturn more than 30 years of legal precedent that says a privacy clause in Florida’s constitution protects abortion rights. The results could help determine whether Republican lawmakers pass tougher abortion restrictions.

related: Why Florida Didn’t Lose Abortion Rights  …

Big tech: The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide in early January whether to hear a high-profile case involving a 2021 Florida law that imposed restrictions on major social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter. florida goes to the supreme court That comes after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld most of the First Amendment-based preliminary injunction in May.

election: After a federal district judge ruled that the 2021 election law was designed to discriminate against black Floridians, the state and Republican groups want the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the decision.A panel in the Atlanta-based court heard September About the law, which includes things like imposing additional restrictions on ballot drop boxes.

gamble: Gov. Ron DeSantis struck a deal in 2021 that would give Florida’s Seminole tribe control of sports betting in the state. But the deal, approved by the legislature, has raised questions among the owners of the two pool facilities.A U.S. district judge ruled that the deal violated federal law on gambling on tribal lands, but an appeals court in Washington, D.C. is currently considering the issue

related: Feds urge court to nullify Florida gambling compact with Seminole tribe

Gender and Sexual Orientation: Federal judges in Tallahassee and Orlando are weighing challenges to a law limiting classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation. The law prohibits such instruction in kindergarten through third grade and requires instruction in the upper grades to be “age appropriate…in accordance with state academic standards.” Republican lawmakers named the measure the “Parents’ Rights in Education” bill. Opponents called it the “Don’t Talk Gay” bill.

Gilm: Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum narrowly lost the 2018 gubernatorial race to DeSantis when he was a rising star in Democratic politics.But now, he’s awaiting trial TOLL He lied to the FBI, participated in a wire fraud conspiracy and committed wire fraud. trial set for april As for Gillum, he pleaded not guilty. The charges stem at least in part from a corruption investigation into Tallahassee city government.

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Gun Age Laws: In response to the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, state lawmakers banned the sale of rifles and other long firearms to adults under the age of 21. The NRA quickly challenged the law on Second Amendment grounds. A federal district judge upheld the law, but the issue is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

related: Florida, NRA point to Supreme Court ruling as they battle over 2018 gun laws

Gun Restrictions: In the wake of the Parkland shooting, more than 30 cities and counties challenged a 2011 state law that threatened severe penalties for local officials if they passed gun-related regulations. The 2011 law was rooted in a decades-old measure that barred cities and counties from passing regulations stricter than state gun laws. The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments in June challenging the 2011 law, which was upheld by the 1st District Court of Appeals.

Race-related notes: DeSantis calls it “stop the wrongdoing on our kids and employees” or “stop the wake-up call.”But on First Amendment questions, a federal judge issued two preliminary injunction Violating the law, which limits how race-related concepts are taught in the education system and in workplace training. The state has taken the case to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Redistrict: This spring, the Republican-controlled Legislature passed DeSantis’ redistricting plan, ultimately helping Republicans win four additional congressional seats in the November election. But voting rights groups have challenged the constitutionality of the redistricting plan in state and federal courts. A trial in the federal case is scheduled for September, less than a year before the 2024 primaries.

related: Florida lawmakers, DeSantis aides may face challenge in redistricting lawsuit

Jim Saunders, Florida News Agency