What are the Top Legal Issues to Look Out for in 2022?
January 4, 2022 Don Pumphrey, Jr. News & Announcements Social Share
The new year is just around the corner. There has been a lot to happen in 2021, both socially and within the legal realm. When it comes to the state of Florida, many bills have been proposed, awaiting passage, this year. Now with 2022 right around the corner, it is important to take a look at the top legal issues that may be ahead of us. Whether we’re dealing with future elections, the status of vaccines, or state and federal court rulings, we’ll list the top legal tops that will likely impact Floridians the most next year:
It comes as no surprise that vaccines are listed as a top 10 legal issue. With the COVID-19 pandemic still very much present in Florida—as well as the rest of the world—there is ongoing legal debate regarding vaccine mandates. In the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Attorney General Ashley Moody has presented the case wherein a district judge refused to block the Biden administration’s healthcare requirement mandating all workers to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. This has been an ongoing issue, as many people in Florida are still against the vaccine and booster, regardless of the ongoing spikes in COVID-19 cases. Gov. Ron DeSantis is bringing a separate challenge against a federal vaccination requirement for employees and federal contractors.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been trying to push an anti-riot bill ever since the 2020 Black Lives Matter marches. After his proposed bill wasn’t passed, he filed an appeal. In March, the 11th Circuit Court will have to hear the appeal from DeSantis about the law aimed to crack down on protests and protestors. The appealed measure would bring stricter penalties and solutions to “violent protests.” Some argue that DeSantis’ proposal is too harsh and has racial bias, considering it was pushed after the BLM protests but never considered with the COVID protests. Democratic state Senator Shevrin Jones gave a comment to the Orlando Sentinel saying the law, “undermines every Floridian’s constitutional rights, and it is disgusting that the GOP would rather empower vigilantes and silence voices rather than listen to the majority of Floridians who oppose this dangerous bill…[it] is a distraction that will only further disenfranchise Black and brown communities.”
Gun Restrictions (Locally)
A case surrounding local gun restrictions is currently being challenged for city and county approval of guns. After the 2018 Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, local government officials started to push back against the law. The law being challenged dates back to 2011, and the 1st District Court of Appeals upheld the law.
Guns and gun regulation is still very much an ongoing issue in Florida. After the 2018 Parkland mass shooting, a law was proposed to prevent any U.S. citizens under the age of 21 from purchasing a firearm. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is attempting to fight this law. They are taking the case to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the law, claiming it is unconstitutional. However, the law was originally upheld by a federal district judge.
Voting rights are also an extremely hot topic given the talk of fraud and foul play that surrounded the 2020 elections. A controversial new voting rights law is meant to make it harder for Floridians to cast ballots by mail and into drop boxes. A trial challenging the legality of the law will commence in January and will likely garner a lot of attention as many people believe the new law is controversial. The U.S. Chief District Judge Mark Walker is set to oversee the trial as high-profile elections loom in the coming November.
Marsy’s Law is being challenged only three years after its approval. To learn more about Marsy’s law, read our blog post here. The Supreme Court will have to decide whether or not the law can protect the identities of police officers in the event of a shooting. Two Tallahassee police officers were backed by the 1st District Court of Appeals after they argued that they are entitled to privacy after being threatened due to various use-of-force incidents.
Facebook and Twitter are two giant social media companies that are facing targeting laws. The law is meant to prevent the platform from banning any political candidates from their sites. This was a direct response to Donald Trump being banned from Twitter and Facebook earlier this year. The law was challenged based on First Amendment grounds and the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is being asked to overturn the preliminary injunction against the social media sites.
Sports betting has been allowed in Florida, but a federal Indian gambling law’s violation may change that. This deal had been approved in May during a special legislative session and called the Indigenous tribe to control online sports betting within Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Seminole Tribe are both seeking a federal appeal from Washington, D.C. to salvage the gambling deal.
A transgender rights case has gained national attention. This case involves a male-identifying transgender student using the boy’s restroom at the St. Johns County High School. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is slated to hear arguments surrounding the case. The district judge ruled in favor of the student, Drew Adams, going against the School Board’s appeal.
University Professors’ Rights
The University of Florida is seeing a court case to be overseen by Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker after a lawsuit was filed. According to The Gainesville Sun, three political science professors filed the lawsuit after the university denied their request to serve as witnesses in a challenge for the new state elections law SB 90. The law includes making it more difficult for Floridians to vote by mail. Six professors came forward to claim that the university’s policy violated the First Amendment rights. School administration from the university claimed that going against the executive branch of government wasn’t in the university’s interests. The university has been facing much public scrutiny regarding the case.
Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida
As we head into the new year, it’s important to be aware of all of your legal options. If you or someone you love has been accused of a crime this year, your first step should be reaching out to a Tallahassee criminal defense attorney. Receiving quality legal advice can be the difference between high fines and jail time or walking away free. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have the experience and skills required to defend your case. Don Pumphrey is prepared to stand in your corner and aggressively fight for your freedom. Don’t let one mistake affect your future. Start the new year right with the right legal help. Call (850) 681-7777 or send an online message and receive a free consultation regarding your case.