Jim Saunders - News Service of Florida

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

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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.

Ray Hollister / Apple/iCloud

In a case that raised high-tech privacy issues, a federal appeals court Tuesday approved prosecutors' use of cell-phone records from a 67-day period to help map the whereabouts of a suspect in a South Florida armed-robbery spree.

Uber car
Adam Fagen via Flickr

The Senate and House are on different paths as they consider setting auto-insurance requirements for technology-based rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft.

As taxi and limo services call for stricter regulations on growing "transportation network companies," the Senate has expanded an insurance measure, S.B. 1298, to include a requirement for around-the-clock coverage on the vehicles of app-connected rideshare drivers.

The requirement would kick in once a driver has been working with a company for at least six months.

marijuana plant
Brett Levin / Flickr

  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 Monday.

The Quinnipiac University poll found that 84 percent of Florida voters back letting adults use medical marijuana if doctors prescribe it.

Carleton Atwater via Flickr

A South Florida appeals court Monday heard arguments in a challenge to the constitutionality of the state's workers-compensation insurance system --- as two other closely watched challenges also await rulings at the Florida Supreme Court.

The 3rd District Court of Appeal took up a case in which a Miami-Dade County circuit judge ruled last year that a key underpinning of workers-compensation laws was unconstitutional. That underpinning involves cases being handled through the workers-compensation insurance system instead of through civil lawsuits.

Erik Hersman / Flickr

Seeking to make Florida more "meaningful" in choosing a Republican presidential nominee, the Senate on Wednesday gave final approval to moving back the date of the state's presidential primary elections.

Senators, with little debate, unanimously backed a bill (HB 7035) that passed the House last week. It now goes to Gov. Rick Scott.

The bill would lead to the presidential primaries being held on the third Tuesday in March, which would be March 15 in 2016. Under current law, next year's primaries would be on March 1.

Lucio Eastman / WIkimedia Commons

In what judges described as a first-of-its-kind case, an appeals court Wednesday upheld a Florida law that prevents people from openly carrying firearms, finding that the restriction does not violate constitutional rights to bear arms.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal stemmed from the 2012 arrest in Fort Pierce of Dale Norman, who was openly carrying a gun in a holster. A jury found Norman guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor charge, leading to the appeal on constitutional grounds.

Fullwood headshot
Reggie Fullwood via Twitter

Reggie Fullwood is headed back to the Florida House. It just took a little longer than expected.

Fullwood (D-Jacksonville) easily won a special election Tuesday over Republican Lawrence Jefferson to reclaim the House District 13 seat that was left vacant after paperwork errors prevented Fullwood from qualifying for the November ballot.

Meredyth Hope Hall & Sara Brockmann / The Office of Governor Rick Scott

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Republican Gov. Rick Scott rallied supporters in November to grab a come-from-behind victory over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist in one of the nation's fiercest gubernatorial races.

But that doesn't mean Scott is popular with voters.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Bush vs. Clinton could be a barnburner in Florida.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday shows former Gov. Jeb Bush and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a virtual tie in a hypothetical 2016 presidential race in Florida. The poll gave 44 percent to Clinton and 43 percent to Bush.

While presidential primaries and caucuses are still a year away --- and the fields of candidates are loaded with speculation — the poll indicates Bush would be the toughest opponent for Clinton in the critical swing state of Florida.

Florida Supreme Court

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — When the Florida Supreme Court hears arguments in a Monroe County case next week, it will consider what might seem a bizarre question: What is the definition of sexual intercourse?

The question stems from charges filed in 2011 against Gary Debaun under a law that requires HIV-infected people to inform potential sexual partners about the disease before having sexual intercourse. Debaun was accused of not providing the information to a male sexual partner.