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Supreme Court Tackles Health Care: Day 2 of Oral Arguments

The second day of oral arguments before the United States Supreme Court concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act”) addressed the substantive question of whether or not a government mandate requiring Americans to purchase health insurance or face a penalty is constitutional.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellPatient Protection and Affordable Care ActFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew 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 LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsUnited States CongressUnited States SenateFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Supreme Court Tackles Health Care: Day 1 of Oral Arguments

This Monday, oral arguments began in the challenge brought by the attorney generals of 26 states to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellPatient Protection and Affordable Care ActFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew 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 LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsUnited States CongressUnited States SenateFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

U.S. Supreme Court Slaps Down EPA for "Strong Arming" and Denial of Due Process to Citizens It Regulates in a Decision Under the Clean Water Act

Michael and Chantell Sackett were the victims of EPA’s “strong arming” according to Justice Scalia’s scathing opinion in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, 566 U.S._______ (2012)(Supreme Court Case No. 10-162). All the Sacketts wanted to do was build a home near, but not adjacent, to a lake. Their 2/3 acre lot is located in Bonner County, Idaho, and others had already built structures closer to the lake. Having received their local building approval, they began to fill part of their lot with dirt and rock. Then the EPA hammer descended.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)Environmental/SustainabilityLitigationGovernment AffairsAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawLand Use & Zoning (Private)Federal CourtsConstitutional LawAdministrative Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokClifford A. SchulmanJoseph H. SerotaSusan L. TrevarthenRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs 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 AttorneysFort Lauderdale Environmental Law AttorneysMiami Environmental Law AttorneysSouth Florida Environmental Law Attorneys South Florida LitigatorsUnited States CongressUnited States SenateFlorida Environmental LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation Attorneys
Author(s): Clifford A. Schulman

Mandatory Contribution by Public Employees of 3% Earnings to FRS Declared Unconstitutional

In a long awaited opinion, Judge Jackie Fulford issued a decision on March 6, 2012, in which shedeclared unconstitutional a requirement that government employees in Florida contribute 3% of their earnings to a state retirement fund (i.e., the Florida Retirement System). Judge Fulford wrote in her opinion that the Legislature committed “an unconstitutional impairment of plaintiff’s contract with the State of Florida, an unconstitutional taking of private property without full compensation, and an abridgement of the rights of public employees to collectively bargain over conditions of employment.” This ruling could cost the state more than $1 billion a year. The ruling does not impact the 3% contribution to the state retirement fund from employees hired after July 1, 2011, when the law went into place.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationConstitutional LawContracts
Tags: Public EmployeesPublic EmployersCollective BargainingGovernmental LitigationSpecial Counsel to Local GovernmentFlorida Supreme CourtJamie A. ColeRaquel ElejabarrietaEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFlorida LegislatureMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerFort Lauderdale Employment LawyerMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerMiami Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Raquel Elejabarrieta

U.S. Supreme Court Revisits Affirmative Action in Higher Education

A new case tackling affirmative action in higher education is set to be argued before the Supreme Court this fall. The case, Fisher v. University of Texas, was brought by a white student alleging that the University of Texas denied her admission because of her race. The case, which was appealed from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, has the potential to eliminate diversity as a permissible factor used in admissions decisions, changing the precedent established by the Court in the 2003 case Grutter v. Bollinger. In Grutter, the Court upheld an affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Michigan Law School. The Court held that the law school had a compelling interest in promoting class diversity, and that admissions officers could consider race and ethnicity as part of a “holistic” review of an applicant’s file. The Court held that a separate affirmative action program, which incorporated a quota system, was too mechanistic and unconstitutional. The dissent argued that the “holistic” approach was itself a thinly-veiled and unconstitutional quota system. As a result of the decision, public colleges and universities could take race into account in admissions, but were not required to do so. Supporters and opponents of affirmative action have noted that the Fisher case will be decided by a much different Court than the one which decided the Grutter case. Because of the Court’s different makeup and the temporal proximity of oral arguments to the national election, supporters and opponents of affirmative action will be watching the developments of the Fisher case intently.

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Categories: LitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Jamie 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 AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Freshman Senator Marco Rubio Renounces Support for Senate Version of SOPA

Backers of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) were dealt a major blow when freshman Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement withdrawing his support for Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA),  SOPA's companion bill in the Senate. Rubio joined several prominent senators in coming out against PIPA after an estimated 7,000 websites blacked themselves out in protest over the proposed bill.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsFederal LawConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFirst AmendmentCopyrightUnited States CongressUnited States Senate
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Supreme Court Gives Death Row Inmate Relief Due to Big Law Firm Mailroom Screwup

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Maples v. Thomas that a death row inmate in Alabama must be given another chance to file an appeal after his attorneys abandoned their representation of the defendant, failing to notify the court of their departure and consequently missing the filing deadline for an important appeal.

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Categories: LitigationAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional LawCivil ProcedureCriminal Law
Tags: Jamie 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 LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of AppealsFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Citing Religious Freedom, Supreme Court Backs Church In Discriminatory Discharge Case

On January 11, the United States Supreme Court held for the first time that federal discrimination laws do not protect church employees who perform religious duties. In Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2012 WL 75047 (Jan. 11, 2007), the Court recognized that the “ministerial exception” under the First Amendment protects religious institutions from discriminatory discharge where the former employee qualifies as a “minister.” Although the term “minister” is not strictly defined, the term may apply to those who conduct worship or serve as a messenger or teacher of faith.

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Categories: Labor and EmploymentLitigationFederal LawFederal CourtsConstitutional Law
Tags: Jamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokBrett J. SchneiderJoseph H. SerotaFort Lauderdale Business Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Business Litigation LawyersMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation AttorneysSouth Florida Business Dispute Litigation LawyersMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Employment Law AttorneysMiami Employment Law AttorneysSouth Florida Employment Law AttorneysFort Lauderdale Labor Law AttorneysMiami Labor Law AttorneysSouth Florida Labor Law AttorneysFirst AmendmentFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Employment AttorneysFlorida Labor LawyersFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Commercial Litigation AttorneysMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Employment AttorneyMiami Labor LawyerSouth Florida Employment Lawyers
Author(s): Brett J. Schneider & Brooke P. Dolara

Supreme Court Decision on Health Care Overhaul Could Be Stalled Until 2015

This spring, oral arguments are scheduled to begin in a challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Before the Supreme Court tackles the challenged “individual mandate” in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it may first have to determine whether or not a challenge to the Act can be litigated at all. The Court could decide to delay any decision until 2015, when the penalties will be assessed against those who refuse to buy health insurance.

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Categories: LitigationGovernment AffairsAppellate Law & PracticeFederal LawConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaLaura K. WendellPatient Protection and Affordable Care ActFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysMatthew 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 LitigatorsEleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Holiday Displays On Public Property and the First Amendment

Each holiday season brings festivities, family time and a welcome break from the daily grind. For local government attorneys and officials, the holiday season also involves important issues of the types of holiday displays a city or county may authorize within its rights of way, parks and other public properties.

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Categories: Land Use & Zoning (Public)LitigationGovernment AffairsLocal GovernmentConstitutional Law
Tags: Governmental LitigationMunicipal GovernmentMitchell A. BiermanJamie A. ColeChad S. FriedmanEdward G. GuedesMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaRichard Jay WeissDavid M. WolpinFort Lauderdale Local Government LawMiami Local Government LawSouth Florida Local Government LawFort Lauderdale Governmental Affairs AttorneysMiami Governmental Affairs AttorneysSouth Florida Governmental Affairs AttorneysFort Lauderdale Municipal AttorneysMiami Municipal AttorneysSouth Florida Municipal AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida LitigatorsJohanna M. Lundgren
Author(s): Susan L. Trevarthen & Johanna M. Lundgren