Last Call for 9.20.21 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

A digest of the day's politics and policy while the bartender refreshes your drink.

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.

First Shot

The results for the July 2021 Bar Examination are in.

On Monday, Florida Board of Bar Examiners Chair Jane A. Rose announced that the Florida Supreme Court approved the release of grades for the exam, held online July 27-28.

In all, 3,343 prospective lawyers took the exam this go around, including 2,285 first-timers. A news release from the Florida Board of Bar Examiners showed that 71.6%, or 1,637, of those taking the test for the first time passed with flying colors.

Florida International University had the highest passage rate, with 103 of 116 test-takers (88.8%) passing on the first try. The University of Miami followed with an 82.5% passage rate. UM also had the most students sit for the exam, with 203 of 246 passing.

The University of Florida was a smidgen behind, posting an 81.3% pass rate, with 165 of 203 graduates earning a passing grade. Stetson University College of Law came in fourth at 78.8%.

Meanwhile, about 74% of Florida State University students passed the Bar, putting FSU significantly behind the top-3 but still above the statewide average.

The Florida Supreme Court approved 1,483 candidates for admission to The Florida Bar on Monday, with Chief Justice Charles T. Canady announcing that they may be sworn in.

The bar exam comprises three essay questions, 300 multiple choice questions, and technological requirements, including a computer with a webcam to allow for remote proctoring of the exams.

The pass rate for other schools, from highest to lowest:

— Ave Maria School of Law: 67.6%

— Nova Southeastern University College of Law: 66.7%

— Non-Florida law schools: 62.5%

— Barry University School of Law: 59.2%

— Florida A&M University College of Law: 56.8%

— Florida Coastal School of Law: 53.3%

— St. Thomas University College of Law: 50.8%


Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts earned some bragging rights in the 2021 Emmy Awards.

Among the set of nominations were six alums. Five were for “The Underground Railroad,” including Barry Jenkins as director, James Laxton for cinematography, Adele Romanski as a producer, Adrienne Rush as a writer and Joi McMillon as an editor.

Additionally, Jim Lakin’s work on “Hacks” earned him a nomination for sound mixing for a comedy.

While FSU has a lot to celebrate, the state at large doesn’t, as none of the shows that earned a nomination were filmed in Florida.

Many of them, however, were filmed in Georgia. That includes “The Underground Railroad,” which spent an estimated $100 million in the Peach State.

The snub is nothing new. In fact, it’s become commonplace in the years since Florida’s program to attract film and TV productions lapsed, causing Florida to quickly lose its status as the No. 3 film destination in the country.

The state’s entertainment industry association, Film Florida, estimates Georgia and other states friendly to the industry have swiped more than $1.3 billion in business from the Sunshine State in the years since Florida stopped actively competing for productions.

The film industry has tried to convince lawmakers to launch a new program in recent years to no avail. So, once again, Florida’s film and TV buffs will be watching from the sidelines as Georgia and other southern states add more Emmys to their trophy case.

Evening Reads

Is it time to rethink hyper-minority districts?” via David Wasserman of The Atlantic

Gov. Ron DeSantis reshaped Florida’s appeals courts; it seems to be working out for him” via Michael Moline of the Florida Phoenix

The Capitol riot sequel was a sad media circus” via Mark Peterson of The New Republic

One lawyer’s rise shows how vaccine misinformation can fuel fundraising and far-right celebrity” via Shawn Boburg and Jon Swaine of The Washington Post

‘Devastating’: Florida Republicans worried about 2022 as they crafted election law” via Gary Fineout of POLITICO

House Democrats lambaste Republicans for seeking advantage with new election law” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

How car rentals explain the 2021 economy” via Quoctrung Bui and Neil Irwin of The New York Times

Medicaid waitlist remains long after $95 million infusion” via Christine Jordan Sexton of Florida Politics

Democratic leadership warns of Capitol COVID-19 outbreak as lawmakers reconvene” via Renzo Downey of Florida Politics

Why everybody’s hiring, but nobody’s getting hired” via Rani Molla and Emily Stewart of Vox

The for-profit world of religious vaccine exemptions” via Mary Harris of Slate

#EmmysSoWhite: No actors of color win despite record nominee lineup” via Clayton Davis of Variety

Floods have swamped the U.S. The next health problem: mold” via Maryn McKenna of WIRED

How to fix the Emmys” via David Canfield of Vanity Fair

Quote of the Day

“It’s just wrong. It’s gross. It’s everything that people hate about politics.” — House Democratic Policy Chair Fentrice Driskell, on reports the 2021 elections bill was crafted to benefit Republicans.

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Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Jesse Scheckner, Scott Powers, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.

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