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First it was Monroe County. Then, late last week, it was Miami-Dade County. And if the plaintiffs have their way, it'll soon be the entire state of Florida.

Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel held Friday that Florida's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional in a case that only applies to Miami-Dade County. The decision came a little more than a week after Circuit Judge Luis Garcia's similar decision in Monroe County. Both decisions are expected to be appealed, but the plaintiff-appellees in the Monroe County case are asking that the process be expedited by skipping the state appeals court and heading straight to the Florida Supreme Court.

If the motion is granted, a decision by the Florida Supreme Court would have statewide effect. If not, a parallel challenge to the state's ban in federal court could have the same effect. A decision in the federal case is expected soon.

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We've seen court after court after court, including a federal circuit court of appeal, rule in favor of gay marriage. But courts in the Eleventh Circuit have been conspicuously silent on the issue -- until now.

This afternoon, Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garica overturned Florida's 2008 constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. It's a narrow victory for gay rights proponents in Florida -- it only applies to Monroe County (the Florida Keys) -- but with four cases in the state racing towards decisions, it's a good sign of things to come, and yet another entry in a long winning streak for gay marriage nationwide.

Here are a few takeaways from the decision:

Hobby Lobby was about a lot of things: religious rights of corporations, substantial burdens, compelling interests in contraception, readily available alternative means to provide contraception, and dictionaries. The end result was this: closely held corporations with religious owners can't be forced to pay for health coverage that provides contraception, especially since there is an existing exemption program for religious nonprofits that these employers could easily be wedged into.

But what if that exemption program itself, which requires the organization to fill out a form and find a third-party administrator to provide contraceptive coverage on the government's dime, is a burden on religion? The Little Sisters of the Poor were the first to make this argument, and the Supreme Court stepped in to grant an injunction. The Eleventh Circuit did the same for EWTN, a Catholic television network, mere hours after Hobby Lobby, with a surprising special concurrence by Judge Bill Pryor.

Fun fact: if your cell phone is turned on, your phone carrier can tell where you are.

How? Your phone's radio is constantly connecting to cell phone towers, which means even without a GPS signal, the carrier can approximate your location. You may have already know this (it shows up in movies all the time), but if you didn't, well, you do now. What you probably didn't know is that it might be legal for the police to snatch this data without a warrant.

Unless you reside in the Eleventh Circuit.

If you enjoy reading stories of police misconduct being properly punished, today's Eleventh Circuit selection will warm the cockles of your heart.

A handful of police officers responded to a 911 call from a drunk, lost woman. When they arrived, she claimed that she was in danger and that someone had been beating Jerry Morris's horses. When officers woke Morris up with a knock, he tried to put on his boots to check on his animals. Instead, the officers entered his house and told him that he wasn't going anywhere.

These are my favorite kinds of opinions, the ones that base their reasoning completely on the plain text of a statute. They're the easiest to read, easiest to understand, and they always make you wonder: how did this get all the way to the appeals court?

Florida had a voter purge in 2012, first in the primary, then in the general election. The program used DMV data to compile a big list of suspected ineligible voters, which was later whittled down from around 180,000 to 198. Ultimately, approximately 85 voters were removed. For those 85 names, the Florida Division of Elections spent $92,500 in legal fees, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Two cases. Both involve abortion protests. Both have time/place/manner restrictions via a buffer zone, keeping protestors away from their intended location. One law, content-neutral, survives. The other? We'll see.

Therein lies the lesson, municipalities -- mask your ordinances in content-neutral draperies, and they're far more likely to survive.

Gay marriage advocates aren't skipping a beat in the Eleventh Circuit, as the ACLU has filed suit on behalf of eight gay couples challenging Florida's refusal to acknowledge out-of-state gay marriages.

According to a press release, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit on Thursday, naming Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi as defendants in seeking to have the Sunshine State recognize legal same-sex marriages performed in other states.

Will this gay marriage challenge be much different than those in other circuits?

The United States is basically a two-party system. Republicans versus Democrats. Before that, there were Whigs, Federalists, and a few others, but for the most part, there has never been a true third party.

Is it tradition? Popular preference and/or apathy? Or is it a matter of ballot access?

Since the last election, we've seen lawsuit, after lawsuit, after lawsuit, most brought by the Libertarian Party, regarding access to the ballot. Today's lawsuit: fighting Alabama's odd requirements for having one's party label affixed to candidates' names.

In November of last year, we were shocked to hear that Roger Shuler, the blogger that broke the rumors of a conservative Eleventh Circuit judge's full-frontal porn past, had been jailed for exercising his free speech rights. A court found him in contempt after he refused to comply with an injunction that required him to take down posts discussing salacious rumors about Robert Riley, Jr., the son of a former two-term governor, and a lobbyist, Liberty Duke.

With powerhouses like the ACLU and the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press lining up behind him, and against the prior restraint of free speech via a sealed court case, you'd think that he'd be released by now, especially considering the "trial" on defamation already concluded.