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U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Arizona Voter Registration Law Requiring Documentary Proof of Citizenship

On June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Arizona voter registration law requiring documentary proof of citizenship from people seeking to vote in federal elections. In Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc., --- S.Ct. ----, 2013 WL 2922124 (U.S. Jun. 17, 2013), the Court held that Arizona’s proof of citizenship requirement was preempted by the National Voter Registration Act (“Act”), which requires States to “accept and use” a uniform federal form to register voters for federal elections.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationPreemptionJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Divided Supreme Court Upholds Maryland DNA Collection Act

On Monday, a divided Supreme Court upheld the Maryland DNA Collection Act and ruled that police officers may take DNA samples from arrestees as part of a routine arrest booking procedure for serious crimes. In a 5-4 split, the Court likened swabbing of an arrestee’s inner cheek with a “Q-Tip-like” swab to that of taking fingerprints from an arrestee and held: “When officers make an arrest supported by probable cause to hold for a serious offense and they bring the suspect to the station to be detained in custody, taking and analyzing a cheek swab of the arrestee's DNA is, like fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersGovernmental LitigationSara E. AulisioJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Sara E. Aulisio

President Nominates Three Candidates to Influential Federal Appeals Court

On June 4, President Obama announced the nominations of three people to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The nominees are U.S. District Judge Robert Leon Wilkins, Georgetown Law Professor Cornelia T.L. Pillard, and attorney Patricia Ann Millett, a Partner at Akin Gump Hauer & Feld, LLP. The announcement was the first time the President held an event to announce nominees to the federal bench other than the Supreme Court. The announcement also comes one month after the U.S. Senate unanimously approved Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan’s nomination to the same court.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Warrantless Search by Drug-Sniffing Dogs at Front Porch Constitutes Unreasonable Search

On March 26, the U.S. Supreme Court (the “Court”) held that the Miami-Dade law enforcement officers conducted a trespassory invasion when they used a drug-sniffing dog at the front door of a suspected marijuana dealer’s home without obtaining a search warrant, and that this invasion constituted an unreasonable search and a violation of the suspected dealer’s Fourth Amendment rights. The decision in Florida v. Jardines, --- S. Ct. ----, 2013 WL 1196577 (U.S. Mar. 26, 2013), will have an impact on how law enforcement agencies in Florida conduct K-9 searches.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional LawCriminal Law
Tags: Florida Supreme CourtFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of First Amendment Challenge Against North Bay Village

On March 22, WSH obtained a favorable ruling for North Bay Village before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Eleventh Circuit refused to overturn the dismissal of a lawsuit challenging North Bay Village’s adult entertainment use regulations. Partner Edward G. Guedes, Chair of WSH’s Appellate Practice Group, handled the appeal for the City.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawLand Use & Zoning (Private)Federal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenLaura K. WendellMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFirst AmendmentEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Edward G. Guedes & Brooke P. Dolara

Florida Supreme Court Holds State Noise Law Unconstitutional

In an opinion issued on Thursday, December 13, 2012, the Florida Supreme Court declared Section 316.3045, Florida Statutes (2007), to be invalid. The law prohibits motorist from playing music or amplified sound at a volume that is “plainly audible” to someone 25 feet away.

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Categories: LitigationLocal GovernmentConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentFlorida Supreme CourtMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissLaura K. WendellJames E. WhiteDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysFort Lauderdale Appellate Law AttorneysMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): James E. White

The Red Light Camera Diaries: Florida Supreme Court to Determine Whether Programs Preempted by State Law

The Florida Supreme Court will hear cases from the Third and Fifth District Court of Appeal to determine the legality of red light camera ordinances in Aventura and Orlando. The Third and Fifth Districts issued conflicting opinions on whether the red light cameras circumvented Florida’s Uniform Traffic Control Law. In Aventura v. Masone, the Third District ruled that the City of Aventura’s red-light camera program was a valid and enforceable program that was not preempted by state law. Specifically, the Court found that Aventura properly invoked its broad home rule and police powers to regulate red light camera violations on its own roads through the use of red light camera powers, and to issue citations and collect fines under its code enforcement powers. The Court further found that Chapter 316 did not expressly preempt the City’s police powers in this area of traffic regulation. In City of Orlando v. Udowychenko, the Fifth District held that the city’s red light camera ordinance expressly and impliedly conflicted with state law because it enforced conduct specifically prescribed by state law.

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Categories: LitigationConstitutional Law
Tags: Red Light CamerasRule EnforcementFlorida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFlorida LegislatureMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney

The Right of Private Individuals to Video and Photograph Public Employees

In the era of ubiquitous cell phone cameras and social media usage, public employees need to be mindful of the law as it pertains to the rights of citizens to monitor public employees at work. Private individuals have a right to record public employees, including police officers, in the public discharge of their duties. The First Amendment provides private individuals a constitutionally protected right to photograph or video record public employees. This right, however, is not completely unqualified and may be subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. In Gilk v. Cunniffe, 655 F.3d 78, (1st Cir. 2011), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit addressed the issue of whether there exists a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties in public. The First Circuit answered this question in the affirmative, holding, “Basic First Amendment principles, along with case law from this and other circuits, unambiguously establish that private individuals possess a constitutionally protected right to videotape police carrying out their duties.” Id. at 82. Recording governmental officers engaged in public duties is a form of speech through which private individuals may gather and disseminate information of public concern, including the conduct of law enforcement officers. Id. In Gilk, arrestee Simon Gilk was arrested for using his cell phone’s digital video camera to film several police officers arresting a young man on the Boston Common. The Charges against Gilk, which included violations of Massachusetts’s wiretap statute, were subsequently judged baseless and dismissed. Gilk then brought suit under §1983, claiming that his arrest for filming police officers arresting a young man constituted a violation of his rights under the First and Fourth Amendments. The First Circuit held that the officers were not entitled to qualified immunity on the First and Fourth Amendment claims and Gilk was awarded $170,000.

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Categories: LitigationConstitutional Law
Tags: Public EmployeesGovernmental LitigationSara E. AulisioJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsProtected ActivityFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Sara E. Aulisio

U.S. Supreme Court Will Hear Widely-Publicized Florida Case Involving Rules on Exactions and Inverse Condemnation

On October 5, the United States Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari filed on behalf of the plaintiff in Koontz v. St. Johns Water Management District.  Oral arguments will be scheduled in the coming months. The case involves Coy Koontz, a landowner who owned 15 acres of land, the majority of which fell within a riparian habitat-protection zone in the Econlockhatchee River hydrological basin and contained protected wetlands. The development of the land was under the jurisdiction of the St. Johns River Water Management District.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityLitigationAppellate Law & PracticeLand Use & Zoning (Private)Federal CourtsConstitutional LawEminent DomainAdministrative Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationFlorida Supreme CourtMitchell J. BurnsteinJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesGilberto PastorizaMichael S. PopokClifford A. SchulmanJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Eminent Domain AttorneysMiami Eminent Domain AttorneysSourth Florida Eminent Domain AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Susan L. Trevarthen & Brooke P. Dolara

Nine Years After Grutter v. Bollinger, Supreme Court Revisits Affirmative Action in College Admissions

Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas to consider whether use of race in undergraduate admissions decisions violates equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. The Court’s decision will have significant consequences for affirmative action policies at public universities.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMatthew H. MandelMiami Appellate Law AttorneysSouth Florida Appellate Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara