As we predicted, the Supreme Court has ruled 5-4 that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide. The Court decision is a landmark victory for equality in this country. As anticipated, Justice Kennedy's comments at oral argument were not indicative of his ultimate decision as Justice Kennedy, in fact, wrote the majority opinion for the Court. Also, as reflected in this firm's brief in the Eleventh Circuit case on this subject, the decision in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), was incredibly persuasive to the Court.
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?"
On February 18, 2015, the Fourth District Court of Appeal decided the case of Norman v. State, 2015 WL 669582 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015). The defendant in Norman was arrested and charged with the offense of open carrying of a weapon, in violation of §790.053, Fla. Stat. (2012). He filed a motion to dismiss, which was denied by the trial court. However, the court certified three questions to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, all of which related to the constitutionality of Florida's open carry laws. Those questions were: (1) is Florida's statutory scheme related to the open carry of firearms constitutional; (2) do the exceptions to the prohibition against open carry constitute affirmative defenses to a prosecution for a charge of open carry, or does the State need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a particular defendant is not conducting himself or herself in the manner allowed; and (3) does the recent "brief and open display" exception unconstitutionally infect the open carry law by its vagueness?