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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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Growing Pains, Constitutional Questions, and Bankruptcy, 1976–1980

Growing Pains, Constitutional Questions, and Bankruptcy, 1976–1980

(p.120) 6 Growing Pains, Constitutional Questions, and Bankruptcy, 1976–1980
Fifty Years of Justice

James M. Denham

University Press of Florida

This chapter covers the dramatic growth the Middle District’s case load from 1976 to 1980. The increasing need for more judges and facilities to handle the growth is covered. In 1976 and 1979 Congress passed acts to create the position of U.S. Magistrate. Magistrates could perform virtually any task undertaken by district judges except for trying and sentencing felony defendants. In 1971 the district appointed eight U.S. magistrates and they introduced in this chapter and their important role in the district is introduced. Jimmy Carter’s judicial appointments are introduced. The congested nature of judicial business in Orlando and Tampa is discussed. The important role of U.S. senators in the appointment process is discussed. Next the chapter turns to Constitutional questions in the Middle District of Florida, and issues such as school prayer, nude dancing, job discrimination, standardized testing, and issues involving abortion clinics and how they are handled by the court are discussed. Finally, the chapter covers bankruptcy as handled in the court up to 1980. Processes, some of the practitioners, judges, appropriate legislation, and some important cases are included.

Keywords:   Speedy Trial Act, 1974, U.S. Magistrate, Omnibus Judgeship Act of 1978, School prayer, Abortion rights, Nude dancing, Job discrimination, Carter judicial appointments, Bankruptcy Act of 1898, Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978

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