The U.S. Supreme Court has chosen not to rule on a ground-breaking case out of Florida. Pitting Tobacco companies against smokers, this seems to be one strike against the corporations.
In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court ruled against big tobacco companies in a decision that has come to be known as the Engle Case. Life-long smoker, physician, and Miami-Beach resident Howard Engle was the lead plaintiff.
On the day his successor takes power, a defeated or departing Florida governor would be allowed to appoint replacements for state Supreme Court justices whose terms expire on the same day. That's in a controversial bill the state Senate passed on Thursday. And that governor could be Rick Scott four years from now, when the court's liberal majority face mandatory retirement all at once.
The campaign to bring medical marijuana to Florida will face what may be a massive roadblock on Thursday. Florida’s Supreme Court will hear arguments on the case brought by Attorney General Pam Bondi. She says the proposed language for the ballot gives too many people access to the drug.
While the case is about what the voters would see on the ballot University of Miami law professor Donald Jones says the court will have to consider the entire argument for medical marijuana.
JUSTICE DIES: Ben Overton, far left, was the first state Supreme Court justice to be appointed rather than elected. Gov. Reubin Askew swore him in March, 1974. At right, an official court portrait from the 1990s.
Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Ben F. Overton, the first justice appointed by the governor after the switch in the 1970s from elected justices, has died from complications of heart surgery, a spokesman for the court said.
Overton, who retired in 1999, was 86.
On the court for more than two decades, his legacy includes letting cameras into Florida courtrooms.
Legal scholars at the conservative Federalist Society are heaping skepticism on the Republicans' rationale for drumming liberal Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy Quince and R. Fred Lewis out of the Florida Supreme Court for "judicial activism."