Abukar Adan / WJCT NEWS

The American Civil Liberties Union in Jacksonville Thursday led a discussion on its priorities heading into the next Florida legislative session, which are:  criminal justice, immigrant rights and voting rights. 

On First Coast Connect Wednesday we talked about voter disenfranchisement in Florida with local author Devin Coleman, who due to a long past felony conviction is unable to vote. He was joined by Natisha June, head of the Greater Jacksonville chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, and Folio Weekly Editor Claire Goforth. University of North Florida criminology professor Dr. Michael Hallett spoke about his new book, “The Angola Prison Seminary: Effects of Faith-Based Ministry on Identity Transformation, Desistance and Rehabilitation.” Host Melissa Ross also spoke with Humana’s Laura Nolan and local doctor John Montgomery about the Humana Bold Goal project, and we heard about the upcoming Jacksonville Jewish Film Festival with HOBNOB owner Ellen Cottrill and Jewish Community Alliance board member Sunny Gettinger. 


Michael Coghlan / Wikimedia Commons

The death penalty will be the focus of a panel discussion Tuesday night in Jacksonville’s Springfield neighborhood.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is joining advocacy group Justice-4-Jacksonville to release new recommendations for reforming Duval County’s application of capital punishment.

The groups are hoping to drum up public support for a new taskforce to advise State Attorney Angela Corey.

"Abortion is forever" sign
Teofilo via Flickr

The day before a new Florida law would have begun requiring women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion, a Leon County judge placed the law on hold while a constitutional challenge goes forward. But the state quickly filed an appeal, a move that could prevent Francis' ruling from taking effect.

Leon County Chief Circuit Judge Charles Francis issued a temporary injunction Tuesday that would have prevented the law (HB 633) from taking effect on Wednesday.

Taxpayer Tab Mounts In Welfare Drug-test Legal Fight

Dec 9, 2014
Rick Scott
The Office of Governor Rick Scott

  TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Taxpayers are on the hook for at least $307,000 – and perhaps much more – to cover legal expenses in Gov. Rick Scott's repeated failed efforts to convince courts that a onetime campaign pledge to drug-test welfare recipients is constitutional.

A federal appeals court last week ruled that the state's mandatory, suspicion-less drug testing of applicants in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, program is an unconstitutional violation of Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.


The American Civil Liberties Union has filed federal complaints against school districts in Broward, Hernando, Hillsborough and Volusia counties over the use of all-girls or all-boys classes. The ACLU wants the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights to investigate the programs.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida says the state is discriminating against low-income people when it suspends the drivers’ licenses of convicted criminals who fail to pay court fees.

After being convicted for five drug-related felony charges, Reginald Foster has racked up more than 5-thousand dollars in court fees. So the Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicle Safety suspended his driver’s license. Now, he rides his bike 15 miles to get to work. But Foster says he really needs to be able to drive to do his job well.