Sam Fields: New Foolish Florida Laws On Companies That Boycott Israel, Same-Sex Marriage





Sam Fields



HB 43 — Governor Rick Scott signed into law protection for clergy who were being forced to perform same-sex weddings. All throughout Florida gay couples must have been threatening to sue Orthodox rabbis, Catholic priests and Southern Baptist ministers, etc., if they did not perform their weddings.

After all, who wouldn’t want a person who thought their marriage was an abomination presiding over it?

So, when you add up all the cases this has happened, including Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Yazidis, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Unitarians, the grand total is exactly…never!





HB 273 —  This law makes it clear that people and companies that contract with the state are subject to the Public Records Act for the records related to those jobs.

So if you want to know what the contractor for the long-delayed, yet-to-open new Broward Courthouse is up to, the firm must open up all his records.

If contractors don’t comply they are subject to a lawsuit with attorney’s fees if they don’t comply within eight days of receiving a notice of noncompliance.




CS/CS/SB 86  — This new law creates a “Blacklist” known as the “Scrutinized Companies that Boycott Israel List”.

Any company that supports the boycott of Israel, which includes the West Bank, will be barred from doing business with Florida under the law.  It was originally sponsored, among others,  by state Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Coral Springs, and Democratic state Sens. Eleanor Sobel of Hollywood, Jeremy Ring of Coral Springs and Maria Sachs of Palm Beach County.

Shades of McCarthyism.

One thing certain about this law is that some attorney is going to make a fortune in fees when she gets this unconstitutional law overturned.

Two quick reasons:

  • Courts have repeatedly held that the Constitution makes it clear foreign policy is the exclusive domain of the Federal Government.
  • There is that pesky thing known as the First Amendment.

In cases such as Citizens United, the Supreme Court has held that corporations, like individuals, have First Amendment rights. The way they spend or don’t spend their money on public issues is part of their free speech rights. This means no government can punish you for exercising that right.

If this kind of law met Constitutional muster then it could apply to any country.

It might encourage Kim Jong-un to hire the right Tallahassee lobbyists to create the Scrutinized Companies that Boycott North Korea List.




As my regular readers know I do not often shy away from offering my opinion.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court, upholding the Involuntary Manslaughter charge against Michelle Carter, is one of those rare cases where I’m reluctant to take a position.

The facts are bizarre.

On July 13, 2014, a teenager named Carter Roy III was found dead in his truck. It was suicide by asphyxiation.

Over the next days it emerged that while on vacation in Florida he had met the Defendant. Both returned to Massachusetts and opened a text and phone relationship without actually meeting again.

Roy apparently suffered from severe depression with regular bouts of suicidal ideations. He told Carter about it. Rather than offer comfort she wrote countless texts encouraging suicide right up to the time he committed suicide.

If you read the opinion it includes pages of her texts goading him to go through with the deed. She comes across as having all the compassion of Ilsa Koch, a Nazi prison guard known as “The Beast of Buchenwald”.

But do those texts constitute enough evidence to sustain the charge of Involuntary Manslaughter? To put it in lay terms, that charge requires that you acted like a “total asshole” in such a way that someone died even if you did not actually kill them.

In sustaining the indictment, the opinion cites to earlier cases. One involved two idiots playing Russian roulette. The other was a husband who helped his suicidal wife load the gun.

Carter’s involvement was different. It was pure speech from miles away. For that reason the ACLU—I’m sure holding its nose–filed an amicus brief asserting First Amendment protection.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court opinion ignores the free speech issue.

What if she had committed extortion to get him to commit suicide? That would be different.

In that case you would be J. Edgar Hoover, who had one of his agents write an anonymous letter to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. telling him that if he did not commit suicide within 34 days he would release evidence of King’s sexual peccadillos. Of course by the time this came out both were dead. Nevertheless, Hoover’s name remains on the FBI Building.

Getting back to Carter, who did not commit extortion, I am torn about this one as a lawyer and as a human being…something even lawyers can occasionally be.



(Sam Fields, a frequent contributor, is a veteran Broward County criminal defense lawyer.) 


3 Responses to “Sam Fields: New Foolish Florida Laws On Companies That Boycott Israel, Same-Sex Marriage”

  1. Sam The Sham says:

    What is wrong with HB 43? Sounds reasonable to me, especially in light of the California ruling against the Christian dating service forcing them to cater to homosexuals, lesbians and every other freak show out there.

    HB 273 sounds like a can of worms.

    The Massachusetts ruling makes about as much sense as any other liberal claptrap coming from our ruling elite. I am curious, if I told you to go fuck yourself, and you did, would I be guilty of rape?

  2. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    The Dbs movement is ANTI-SEMITIC as proven by THEIR OWN STATEMENTS and IS MC CARTHYISM.
    The DBS Movement leadership ON A REGULAR BASIS DENIES TGE HOLOCAUST Denies the HISTORICAL FACTS OF THE FIRST n SECOND TEMPLES disputes SCIENTIC ARCHEOLOGY and treats the Works of Titus Flavius Josephus as fiction.

  3. Floridan says:

    HB 43 is political grandstanding — no religious minister, rabbi, etc. is required to perform a marriage ceremony under current laws.

    SB 86 will not survive a court challenge.

    I do not believe that the Mass. case is as clear-cut as some would believe. The key issue will be her prior knowledge of his mental condition. Could go either way.