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Jac Wilder VerSteeg: Unelected Supreme Court chastises House members for unelecting themselves

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Politicians who disagree with Supreme Court rulings frequently point out that the justices are “unelected.” That’s true on both the federal and state levels. Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli echoed that disdain with comments after a majority of Florida Supreme Court justices agreed with an opinion written by Justice Barbara Pariente, who wrote that the House, under Crisafulli’s leadership, “clearly violated the Constitution” when it adjourned three days early. That ruling came in response to a lawsuit by Democrats. Crisafulli…

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City of St. Pete passes panhandling ban, drawing scorn of St. Petersburg Times

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After listening to four hours of sometimes heart-wrenching public testimony, the St. Petersburg City Council passed a comprehensive ban on panhandling and solicitation, despite warnings from legal representatives of the St. Petersburg Times that such a ban would eventually be ruled unconstitutional. Reporter Michael Van Sickler described the public hearing this way: The testimony highlighted an economic divide in the city between those worried about declining property values and those worried about where they would find this month’s rent money. Neighborhood…

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Larry Cretul warns Charlie Crist’s vetoes threaten state’s bond rating

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House Speaker Larry Cretul (R- Ocala) released the following statement regarding Governor Charlie Crist’s budget vetoes: “With the realities of today’s economic challenges, the Legislature had to make difficult decisions in order to responsibly balance the state’s budget. “Unlike the Congress, the Florida Legislature is constitutionally obligated to balance our budget, and therefore spending priorities must be set. In spite of a $3 billion shortfall this year, the House worked to maintain level school funding and put our children’s classrooms…

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Larry Cretul warns Charlie Crist’s vetoes threaten state’s bond rating

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House Speaker Larry Cretul (R- Ocala) released the following statement regarding Governor Charlie Crist’s budget vetoes: “With the realities of today’s economic challenges, the Legislature had to make difficult decisions in order to responsibly balance the state’s budget. “Unlike the Congress, the Florida Legislature is constitutionally obligated to balance our budget, and therefore spending priorities must be set. In spite of a $3 billion shortfall this year, the House worked to maintain level school funding and put our children’s classrooms…

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Palm Beach County quits prosecuting panhandlers

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Palm Beach County’s state attorney no longer will prosecute panhandlers under the “obstruction of public streets” statute, saying the state law is legally flawed. The action heads off a hearing on the constitutionality of the law that could have bounced all the way to the state Supreme Court. West Palm Beach police arrested Elizabeth Annese, 29, on April 22 as the homeless woman collected money near Palm Beach International Airport. She had stepped off the median, violating the law, which makes…

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Pam Bondi pens op-ed: Health Care legislation is unconstitutional

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This week, President Barack Obama signed into law his health care reform bill, which is the largest, most expensive, and most divisive entitlement program produced in our nation in decades. Close to a thousand pages of this legislation are filled with rules, regulations and requirements that give government authority to put many of the freedoms we all enjoy in a stranglehold. Until now, there have been very few times in the history of our nation that a single vote in…

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Supreme Court rules Vermont campaign finance laws unconstitutional

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The Supreme Court ruled today that a Vermont law restricting campaign donations and expenditures was unconstitutional. The court said that the law’s limits on how much a candidate could spend violated a landmark 30-year-old ruling equating such spending with free speech and that its limits on donations to a campaign were far too stringent. From The New York Times.

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