This week has one of the busiest oral argument schedules for the Florida Supreme Court this year, with the Court hearing several cases that are likely to set important precedents in various areas of law. Here are some selected cases.
On Monday, the Court heard among others an appeal in The League of Women Voters of Florida, et al., v. The Florida House of Representatives (SC13-949 and SC13-951). The appeal there turns on whether there exists a legislative privilege in Florida for state legislators to not testify on legislative matters, and if so, the extent to which that privilege was curtailed by the Fair District Amendments of 2010, which prevent the legislature from drawing electoral districts with an intent to favor a political party or incumbent.
On Tuesday, the Court heard two cases, Henry v. State (SC12-578) and Gridine v. State (SC-1223), which consider whether defendants can be sentenced to terms of years (90 years and 70 years, respectively) that are effectively life sentences, for non-homicide offenses committed by minors, where the sentences do not provide a meaningful opportunity for rehabilitation and release on parole.
On Wednesday, the Court heard arguments in State v. Drawdy (SC12-2021), which examines double jeopardy and when a defendant may be convicted on two counts of criminal offenses committed during one sexual assault.
On Thursday, the Court will hear a challenge to the Public Service Commission’s approval of rate increases for Florida Power and Light Company in Citizens of the State of Florida v. Florida Public Service Commission (SC13-144).
On Friday, the court will hear arguments about when a person may be considered an owner of a vehicle for purposes of liability for harm caused by another’s use of that vehicle, Christensen v. Bowen (SC12-2078). Arguments will also be presented to the court about the statute of limitations and the relation back doctrine in rule 1.190(c) of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. That case is Caduceus Properties, LLC, et al. v. William Graney, P.E., et al. (SC12-1474).