U.S. Supreme Court

Thursday on First Coast Connect we heard a review of the just completed term of the U.S. Supreme Court and the potential effect of the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy with the Florida Immigrant Coalition’s Basma Alawee and Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner, director and pre-law instructor in the Department of Political Science at the University of North Florida (01:22).

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to take up a challenge to a Florida law that bars people from openly carrying firearms in public, ending a case that started nearly six years ago when a man was arrested in St. Lucie County.

Supreme Court To Hear Florida First Amendment Case

Nov 13, 2017
Fane Lozman / Via WLRN

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to take up a First Amendment case stemming from the arrest of a frequent government critic as he spoke during a South Florida city council meeting.

U.S. Supreme Court Wades Into The Florida And Georgia Water War

Oct 10, 2017
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The legal fight between Florida and Georgia over water flow into the Apalachicola River will move before the full U.S. Supreme Court.


In a legal battle drawing attention from medical groups across the country, the U.S. Supreme Court could be close to deciding whether to hear a Florida case about the disclosure of medical records.


Arguing that a Florida Supreme Court ruling “undermines” a federal patient-safety law, a Jacksonville hospital system is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a legal battle about the disclosure of medical records.


NPR Politics team live blogged from the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT News

Former Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford said on Wednesday's First Coast Connect, he wants to fix the economy and strengthen the military as he runs for Congressional District 4, replacing the retiring Ander Crenshaw. He also said he wants to strengthen nation’s borders to combat terrorism.

Rutherford has won the endorsement of many prominent local Republicans but the leader in the polls has been sharply criticized by his primary opponents, primarily Hanz Tanzler, who said Rutherford is too liberal to represent the district.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT News

About 10,000 people packed Wednesday night’s Donald Trump rally at Jacksonville’s Veterans’ Memorial Arena.

jury box
John Jackson via Flickr

Hundreds of Florida death penalty sentences are in limbo Tuesday after the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out the way the state sentences people to death.

The ruling could lead state lawmakers to require unanimous juries.

The U.S. Supreme Court this fall will hear arguments in a challenge to the way Florida sentences people to death — a challenge backed by three former Florida Supreme Court justices and the American Bar Association.

The case, which stems from the 1998 murder of an Escambia County fast-food worker, focuses on the role that juries play in recommending death sentences, which ultimately are imposed by judges.

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A sharply-divided U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to the lethal-injection protocol used in Oklahoma and other states, opening the door for executions to resume in Florida.

In the 5-4 majority opinion issued Monday, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that Oklahoma prisoners failed to prove that the use of the drug midazolam, the first of the three-drug lethal cocktail used also used in Florida, "entails a substantial risk of severe pain."

The petitioners also failed to offer an alternative execution method that would be less painful, Alito wrote.

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Rhema Thompson / WJCT

  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that same-sex marriage must be allowed in all 50 states. Not much changes in Florida because a federal court struck down Florida’s same-sex marriage ban early this year.

But Jacksonville residents Aaron Talbot and Joel Adams say, even though they’re already married, today’s ruling is still meaningful.

“I guess the biggest thing is having your own government tell you that you are welcome in the country in which you were born and where you want to live,” Talbot said. “That, for me, is the biggest victory here.”

We discuss the week's biggest news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Tonyaa Weathersbee, Florida Times-Union columnist;  Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor; A.G. Gancarski, Folio Weekly and Florida Politics columnist; and David Chapman, Daily Record reporter.

Topics include local items in the state's budget vetoed by Gov. Rick Scott, the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act, the Confederate Flag and more.