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GOP Stems Democratic Push in State Senate

November 8, 2016 - 11:45pm
Jose Javier Rodriguez and Frank Artiles

Democrats' hopes of loosening the Republican chokehold on the Florida Senate were dashed Tuesday, as they captured one hotly contest Miami-Dade County seat but lost an incumbent Democrat in another.

Democrats also failed to seize open seats in North Florida and Tampa, despite a new Senate map aimed at doing away with gerrymandered districts.

In the Democrats' highest-profile Senate victory Tuesday, state Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez toppled Republican Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla in Miami.

Weekly Roundup: Light at the End of the Tunnel

November 4, 2016 - 11:30pm

Four months ago, nearly six out of 10 Americans were already feeling exhausted by election coverage, according to the Pew Research Center

Voters were worn out long before Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump earned the nominations of their respective parties, and before stories of Russian email hacking and accusations of groping subsumed deeper topics, like the candidates' actual stands on issues such as the economy.

Justices Eye Proposal that Could Limit Gambling

November 2, 2016 - 10:00pm

The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday about a proposed constitutional amendment that could severely limit the expansion of gambling in Florida by giving voters, instead of state lawmakers or counties, control over casino-style games

Lawmakers to Again Deal with Death Penalty Sentencing

October 18, 2016 - 10:00pm

For the second year in a row, Florida lawmakers will attempt to fix the state's death-penalty sentencing scheme in response to court rulings finding that the process is unconstitutional.

Incoming Senate President Joe Negron, who will take over as head of the Senate after the November elections, told The News Service of Florida on Tuesday that lawmakers will have to redress the issue of jury unanimity, at the heart of rulings Friday by the Florida Supreme Court, when they reconvene next year.

Judge Appears to Side with Seminoles in Gambling Dispute

October 5, 2016 - 10:00pm

A federal judge appeared convinced Wednesday that Florida gambling regulators' decision to allow controversial card games violated an agreement with the Seminole Tribe that gave tribal casinos exclusive rights to conduct "banked" games such as blackjack.

The controversial "designated-player" games allowed at pari-mutuel facilities were the focus of the trial that closed Wednesday after U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle grilled Anne-Leigh Gaylord Moe, a private attorney representing the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Card Games at Heart of Trial Pitting State, Seminoles

October 3, 2016 - 10:00pm

Lawyers for the state and the Seminole Tribe fired opening salvos Monday in a legal battle that could determine whether the tribe can continue to offer "banked" card games, such as blackjack, at most of its Florida casinos.

Federal Judge Questions State on Card Games

September 2, 2016 - 10:00pm

A federal judge on Thursday appeared skeptical of the state's defense of how gambling regulators handled controversial "designated player" card games at the heart of a legal challenge by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

During a pre-trial hearing, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle repeatedly questioned J. Carter Andersen, a lawyer representing the state, about the games, also the subject of recent decisions by state administrative law judges in disputes involving cardroom operators.

Judge Rules Against Gambling Regulators on Card Games

August 26, 2016 - 10:30pm

Florida gambling overseers were wrong to do away with a rule governing controversial "designated player" card games at pari-mutuel facilities without replacing the regulations, an administrative law judge said Friday.

Judge E. Gary Early's ruling could have widespread implications within the state's gambling industry and could have an impact on a lawsuit filed by the Seminole Tribe of Florida challenging the card games.

Racism Allegations against Judge Enter Death Row Case

August 4, 2016 - 7:15pm

A lawyer for Death Row inmate Terrance Phillips wants the Florida Supreme Court to order an investigation into allegations of racism involving the circuit judge who sentenced the Jacksonville man to death --- including accusations that the judge once said blacks should "go back to Africa."

Judge: Controversial Card Games Violate State Law

August 1, 2016 - 10:15pm

In a decision that could have wide-ranging implications for pari-mutuels throughout the state, an administrative law judge ruled Monday that the way "designated-player" card games are being operated by a Jacksonville poker room violates the state's ban on so-called banked card games.

Monday's ruling that the popular card games are being played illegally comes more than four years after Florida gambling regulators first signed off on the games, which have eclipsed other card games like Texas Hold 'Em in popularity among patrons.

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