Lawsuits Over Controversial New Fla. Laws; Panic Over Gas Pipeline Hits State's Pumps

May 14, 2021

Several controversial new laws passed this year in Florida have already been hit with lawsuits. 

A new election law, which was signed into effect by Gov. Ron DeSantis last week, was hit almost immediately with a lawsuit from the League of Women Voters of Florida and several other groups. The polarizing election law places restrictions on drop boxes for mail-in ballots, bans third party groups from aiding voters in returning their mail-in ballots, prevents non-poll workers from offering food and water to voters standing in line, and requires voters to renew their mail-in ballot request annually.

Another new law that has seen backlash is what opponents call an “anti-protest bill,” allowing authorities to detain protestors who have been arrested until their court appearances and establishing new felonies for organizing and participating in violent demonstrations. Groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP are seeking to overturn the new law, saying that it could lead to discrimination and that it gives to much discretion to police officers, who could use it to justify arresting peaceful protestors.

Former retired Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Talley Wells and AG Gancarski, a reporter for Florida Politics, joined us to discuss the new laws and the lawsuits against them.  

Panic At The Gas Pumps

After a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline, one of the nation’s largest gas suppliers, panic buying among Florida drivers took hold, even though the state gets most of its gas via ports.

Executive Director of the Florida Petroleum Marketers Association Ned Bowman joined us to discuss the crisis. 

Mackenzie Guiry can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org