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Rotten tomatoes? Farmworkers sue Palm Beach over protest ban

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A U.S. farmworkers coalition is suing Palm Beach, alleging the wealthy town’s ordinances effectively bar the group from its constitutional right to hold a protest near the home of a billionaire fast-food executive. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, representing about 40,000 field workers, wants a federal judge to allow a planned demonstration March 12 near the home of Wendy’s Company board chairman Nelson Peltz. At issue is the company’s refusal to pay a penny-per-pound fee for its tomatoes to supplement…

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Today on Context Florida: Killing in God’s name, Kurly’s latke recipe and defending our Constitutions

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Today on Context Florida: There has been a lot of talk about mass shootings and the Second Amendment. Jac VerSteeg asks us to talk a little bit about mass shootings and the First Amendment. The First Amendment is a sweeping guarantee of rights for individuals, churches and the press. There are limits to the free exercise of religion, VerSteeg says. Courts have intervened, for example, when parents have refused to seek medical treatment for children because they believe God should do…

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Judge orders Palm Beach Post to remove ‘snitch’ transcripts

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A judge has ordered a Florida newspaper to remove transcripts of telephone conversations from a story on its website about a jailhouse “snitch” who has testified in numerous cases. The order earlier this week from Palm Beach Circuit Judge Jack Schramm Cox says The Palm Beach Post’s publication of the transcripts violates Frederick Cobia‘s right to privacy. The newspaper said in a story posted Tuesday that it has complied with the order but plans to appeal. First Amendment attorneys say the U.S. Supreme…

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Today on Context Florida: Food insecurity, misinformation on guns and shrinking Florida newspapers

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Today on Context Florida: The United Nations had not yet been officially established when it formed the Food and Agriculture Organization, which Terri Susan Fine says suggest that ahead of individual human rights and world security, one of the most basic human rights is access to food and nutrition. The chronology of events speaks to food security as surpassing all other human rights. So what is the value of other human rights if the most basic goes unfulfilled? Rights, even those…

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Media attorney thinks Florida’s new drone law is unconstitutional

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a drone privacy law last week that bans drone surveillance of private citizens without their consent, but a Washington, D.C.-based media attorney thinks the Sunshine State has gone too far in attempting to regulate this emerging new technology. Chuck Tobin is a partner in Holland & Knight’s Washington, D.C., office. He chair’s the firm’s National Media Practice, which includes leading H&K’s “Drone Practice Team.” He’s intimately familiar with Florida’s media laws, having  taught media law and ethics…

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Today on Context Florida: Gwen Graham, terminal democracy, free speech and MLB playing fair

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Today on Context Florida: Peter Schorsch suggests the reason why Gwen Graham might be biding her time before endorsing fellow Democrat Patrick Murphy, who is seeking Marco Rubio’s U.S. Senate seat. Rumor has it that Graham awaiting at least one more court ruling on reapportionment because there might be a chance the courts could throw out the congressional maps and create an east-west seat. This district would essentially squeeze Graham out of her little slice of North Florida Way paradise. Then,…

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Times Publishing sues City over solicitation ban

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Calling a new ban on street solicitation a violation of its constitutional right to free speech, the Times Publishing Co., the corporate parent of the St. Petersburg Times, filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the city of St. Petersburg. “The right of access to public streets and sidewalks to distribute the news is essential to the exercise of the press’ First Amendment freedoms,” the suit states. “The ordinance prevents the Times from distributing its newspapers in traditional public (areas), thereby violating…

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