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US Supreme Court Considers Challenge to Voting Rights Act

US Supreme Court

In 1965 Congress enacted and Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act (VRA).  The VRA was intended to deal specifically with roadblocks in place in certain states to voter registration by Black Americans.  Certain provisions of the Act were originally set to expire in five years, but were renewed in 1970, 1975, 1982, and most […]

Byron Donalds, THE TALK Part I: What Happened in the 2012 Elections?

Byron Donalds

The first of a three part look at the 2012 elections:  What happened? What’s next for the GOP? Who is the next leader? Part I: What Happened? It’s been three months, so enough time has passed since the November elections. It takes time to get over heartbreak, but time in politics goes fast and the […]

First Amendment to the Constitution: Freedom of the Press

Democracy in America

Like Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, in the United States the concept of Freedom of the Press as it developed has been uniquely American.  Along with free speech for the general population, it is surely the source of what has become known as American Exceptionalism. American Exceptionalism Alexis de Tocqueville originally referred to […]

Types of Property Ownership are Important in Estate Planning

private property

The principal goal of estate[1] planning is to see that the wishes of the person who accumulated property[2] are met. The most familiar method for addressing this goal is a valid Last Will and Testament. An additional tool maybe a Revocable Living Trust[3].  Both of these legal tools are primarily designed to direct disposition of […]

The First Amendment to the Constitution: Freedom of Speech

Associate Supreme Court Justice James Wilson

The US Constitution’s first ten amendments are called The Bill of Rights. The First Amendment limits the authority of government to enact laws impinging upon the natural rights of the people to practice religion, engage in speech, publish their ideas and assemble together to petition their government. Freedom of religion is the first named freedom. The second named […]

The 2012 Elections: What happened? Why? What now?

Election 2012 Badge

The November elections must serve as a wake-up call for those who love limited government, individual liberties, and the principles of free enterprise – as embodied in America’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Understanding the Republican 2012 Election Loss Romney and the GOP did not lose on principles, nor because of […]

The Origin and Meaning of the Miranda Warnings

Ernesto Miranda

The Miranda warnings are part of American criminal justice and American popular culture.  Where do they come from? What do they mean? Ernesto Miranda was the name of a 23 year old Mexican immigrant.  The United States Supreme Court in 1966 announced a constitutional rule of criminal procedure requiring that police must advise a suspect of several […]

Gideon v. Wainwright, 50 Years Later, Did Clarence Gideon Write His Appeal? Part 2

Gideon Petition to US Supreme Court

Clarence Earl Gideon had an eighth grade education and a long criminal history. He had been sentenced to prison for the fifth time. Upon his arrival he began to study law for long hours in the prison library. As the story goes, eventually, with a pencil and paper he scratched out an appeal to the […]

Gideon v. Wainwright, 50 Years Later, Did Clarence Gideon Write His Appeal? Part 1

Clarence Gideon

Thanks to television crime dramas and police shows, everyone is familiar with the following: “You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” The story of those familiar words started with a Bay Harbor, FL poolroom break-in in 1961. The break-in resulted in the arrest, […]

Requirements for a Valid Last Will and Testament in Florida

Florida Statutes, Chapeter 732

While Florida gives a person much freedom to dispose of his property (known as his “estate”) at his death, this freedom is gained only through the execution of a valid will.  To be valid a will must meet defined formalities. Will execution formalities and the consequences of not having a valid will are found in […]