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Fifty Years of JusticeA History of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida$
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James M. Denham

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813060491

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813060491.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Constitutional Questions of the Twenty-First-Century Court

Constitutional Questions of the Twenty-First-Century Court

(p.357) 19 Constitutional Questions of the Twenty-First-Century Court
Fifty Years of Justice

James M. Denham

University Press of Florida

This chapter addresses constitutional questions that arose in the Middle District of Florida since 2000. The new millennium saw many constitutional disputes reach the Middle District Court. Subjects ranging from nude-dancing to expressions of religiosity to the right to die are addressed. Post September 11 security measures were put in place and the constitutionality of some (such as pat downs at Tampa Bay Buccaneer football games) were tested. Florida’s continued population growth, immigration patterns, and demographic shifts spurred challenges to existing voting methods at the local level. In several counties the growing Hispanic populations prompted class actions against counties, charging that the at-large election system for county commissioners diluted Hispanics’ voting power and violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The U. S Justice Department often joined these suits and an extensive discussion of an Osceola County case is included. Next the chapter turns to the right to die case of Terri Schaivo. Finally the chapter concludes with the troubled tenure of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and its effect on the Middle District’s U.S. Attorney’s office.

Keywords:   American Civil Liberties Union, First Amendment, Single Member Districts, Voting Rights Act (1965), Terri Schiavo, Charlie Crist, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales

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