Author Archives: Florida Coastal School of Law

The Unbearable Invisibility of White Masculinity: Innocence In the Age of White Male Mass Shootings

“Do you also think it’s odd that white men commit the overwhelming majority of mass murders,” wondered Nancy Hogshead-Makar, Senior Director of Advocacy for the Women’s Sports Foundation, “but that people don’t identify that as a causal factor? Instead we talk about mental illness and gun control. If it were Asian women or Jewish men or elderly African-American, it would be topic number one. But not white men.” In fact, the media response to mass shootings often reimagines white men as victims.”

Read the entire story at Gawker.

New bill could allow goverment access to your email

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –  You know the saying ‘Big Brother is watching?’  He may soon be reading too.

A new bill working its way through Congress could give the government unwarranted access to your email.

“I have to admit I’m not very careful about what I put in my emails,” said Rod Sullivan.

He emails constantly for business and pleasure.  And he knows the legal ins and outs.  He is a professor at the Florida Coastal School of Law.

… read the entire article at Action News Jax.

Breaking down Amendment 1

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It is one of the most controversial Supreme Court rulings made this year. In June the Affordable Care Act, also referred to by others as “ObamaCare,” became law.

It requires every American to have health care by 2014, and it’s a decision that disappointed voters like Rachel Eddy. “I like that everybody can choose for themselves what they like instead of being told what they need,” said Eddy.

But this November, Florida voters will have their chance to vote against it. “This amendment, in essence, would be Florida’s statement that we do not want to be under the Affordable Care Act,” said law professor, Alan Williams.

Read the entire story at

Public state-sponsored prayer has created fault lines

The whole discussion pivots, John Knechtle says, on the Bill of Rights’ First Amendment establishment clause, which says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

It was drafted in 1789. People have been arguing about it since.

“It wasn’t that [the founding fathers] were all liberal-minded and didn’t want any religion,” Knechtle said. “They didn’t want a particular religion established.”

Knechtle teaches constitutional law at Florida Coastal School of Law. He’s also co-author of a couple of textbooks, including “The First Amendment: Cases, Problems and Materials.”


First Coast homeowner regrets reverse mortgage

Florida Coastal School of Law professor Laura Boeckman specialize in consumer law and reverse mortgages.

Boeckman says the concept can work with the right advice.

“Some people call it your ATM you can take out a mortgage where you get monthly payment that is a portion of your equity every month,” said Boeckman.

- Read the entire article, or view the piece, on

Free speech vs. hate speech: Where is the line drawn?

“We know today for a virtual certainty that if you burn a Quran and you put it on YouTube, somewhere somebody in the world is going to die as a result of violence caused by that YouTube video,” said Rod Sullivan, a constitutional law professor at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville. “Therefore it’s sort of an emerging question as to whether or not the courts can prohibit that kind of speech because it does incite violence someplace else.”

Read more, and watch the video, at

Counter-Rape Culture

But the tutorial should help Montana in any future civil lawsuits related to assaults because it is evidence that the university is not “deliberately indifferent” to sexual assault on its campus, said Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a law professor at Florida Coastal School of Law and senior director of advocacy for the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Hogshead-Makar praised Montana’s proactive approach – while noting that such an undertaking is only as effective as the information it conveys.

“It’s unrealistic to think that an 18-year-old is going to read a sexual harassment policy until something’s already happened,” she said. Referring to commonly noted statistics that one in four college women report having survived rape or attempted rape at some point since their 14th birthday, she added, “If we knew a quarter of women while they were in higher education were going to seriously damage their self-esteem, their outlook in life, their sense of the future – if we knew something like that was going to happen, we would do more than just provide counseling afterward. This is not just counseling afterward.”

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

Critical ruling in cases against Cristian Fernandez due Tuesday

Cooper can rely on prior case law to help as a guide, but her job is to focus on the evidence presented in the cases before her, said Rod Sullivan, a constitutional law professor at the Florida Coastal School of Law.

“Everything in her ruling has to be based on her factual findings,” Sullivan said. “She has to make specific findings concerning the development of his level of intelligence at the age of 12, the amount he was actually free to cooperate or not with police” and other factors.