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oral argument

Supreme Court orders argument in judicial appointments case

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The Florida Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the case against Gov. Rick Scott over whether he has the authority to appoint three new justices on the last day of his term. The court on Friday set argument for 9 a.m. Nov. 1. For now, the matter will be heard by the court’s seven justices, including the three—R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy A. Quince—whose age-required retirements occasioned the suit.

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Smoker’s widow fights for multimillion-dollar jury award

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A lawyer for the widow of a Florida man “addict(ed) to cigarettes” asked the state Supreme Court Monday to reinstate her $30 million jury award for punitive damages. Tallahassee attorney John S. Mills, who represents Joan Schoeff, told the court the conduct of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.(RJR)—in selling a product they knew was killing 500,000 people a year—stopped just short of “intentional genocide.” Mills called RJR “the worst of the worst,” saying the cigarette maker was aware their customers “were going to die and continued (selling cigarettes)…

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“Smart Solar” amendment narrowly passes Supreme Court review

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The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday barely approved a proposed state constitutional amendment on solar power for the 2016 ballot. In a 4-3 decision, the court OK’d the amendment in question, called “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice.” It’s backed by Consumers For Smart Solar, supported by the state’s biggest private utilities, including Duke Energy Florida, Florida Power & Light, Gulf Power Co., and Tampa Electric Co. Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and Justice R. Fred Lewis joined the court’s conservatives, Justices Charles…

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State Supreme Court allows oral argument for Smart Solar amendment

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The Florida Supreme Court on Monday granted requests for oral argument on a hotly contested proposed constitutional amendment on solar power. The court scheduled argument at 9 a.m. May 5 for the amendment called “Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice” and backed by Consumers For Smart Solar. Among other requirements, proposed amendments to the state constitution must be OK’d by the court to ensure they cover only one subject and that their ballot title and summary aren’t misleading. The proposed summary now reads: This…

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