Yesterday, the Supreme Court held oral arguments on the issue of same-sex marriage. The arguments revealed a few surprises. We are pleased that Justice Roberts pointed out that the marriage ban might be sex discrimination. Chief Justice Roberts stated that, "I mean, if Sue loves Joe and Tom loves Joe, Sue can marry him and Tom can't. And the difference is based upon their different sex. Why isn't that a straightforward question of sexual discrimination?"
It is not unusual for law enforcement officers to turn a traffic stop into a full blown search and seizure of the vehicle that has been stopped. How is this accomplished? First, many times the officers, who have made what seems to be a routine traffic stop, know they will find contraband in the vehicle. The traffic stop is used as an excuse to get inside the vehicle, without the police having to reveal the source of their information that the car is carrying. After issuing a traffic citation, a "casual" request to search the vehicle is made. If consent is declined, the officers call back-up to bring a drug sniffing dog. If the dog alerts to the presence of contraband, the vehicle is searched based upon that alert and no one, including the driver ever knows the actual reason for the search.
The First District Court of Appeal of Florida has decided the case of Finkelstein v. State, 2015 WL 798162. In Finkelstein, the defendant was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon. The defendant moved to dismiss the charges, claiming statutory immunity pursuant to §776.032, Fla. Stat. (2013), arguing that the deadly force he used was justifiable to defend himself. This statute, commonly referred to as the "stand your ground" defense provides:
On March 30, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Grady v. North Carolina, 2015 WL 1400850 (2015). In Grady, the defendant was convicted of a sex offense with a child. After serving his sentence, he was designated as a recidivist sex offender and a hearing was held to determine whether he should be subject to satellite-based monitoring (SBM). The defendant argued that the monitoring would violate his Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Nonetheless, the trial court ordered the defendant to wear an ankle bracelet and be monitored for the rest of his life.