local government

Florida Supreme Court hears gun law challenge amid national debate over restrictions

The law being challenged is part of a decades-old “preemption” law approved by the Florida Legislature that prohibits local governments at the city or county level to pass measures stricter than those at the state level. The case the state Supreme Court is weighing will not affect the underlying 1987 preemption law.

“This is a legislative fire hose to put out a birthday candle,” said Edward G. Guedes, an attorney representing the plaintiffs trying to overturn the law.

The state’s high court considered the legal fight in the aftermath of a spate of mass shootings across the country, including one last month in Uvalde, Texas school that left 19 elementary students and two teachers dead, and another in Buffalo, N.Y. that claimed 10 lives. Those shootings and others spurred lawmakers across the country to again fight over how to restrict firearms in the country.

The Florida law was initially overturned in Leon County Circuit Court, but last year the 1st District Court of Appeals overturned that lower court ruling, which prompted Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is also running for governor, and 30 local governments to appeal the decision to the Florida Supreme Court.

“We should be talking

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Nikolas Bowie, constitutional law and legal history scholar, named professor of law at Harvard

Credit: Lorin Granger

Nikolas Bowie ’14, a scholar of constitutional law, local government law, and legal history, is being promoted to professor of law at Harvard Law School, effective July 1.

Bowie joined the Harvard Law faculty as an assistant professor in 2018. He was previously the Reginald Lewis Law Teaching Fellow at Harvard, while completing a Ph.D. in history at Harvard University.

“Niko Bowie brings creativity and brilliance to developing new and compelling ways of understanding constitutional law and legal history,” said John F. Manning ’85, the Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. “Professor Bowie is also an inspiring and dedicated teacher and a generous colleague whose energy and love of ideas have added so much to the Harvard Law School community.”

A historian who teaches courses in federal constitutional law, state constitutional law, and local government law, Bowie’s research focuses on critical legal histories of democracy in the United States.

“The workers and students of Harvard Law School have an incredibly important responsibility to help establish justice in the world around us,” said Bowie. “I am honored to have the confidence of the faculty that I will do my

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