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Armstrong v. Harris

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Armstrong v. Harris is a 2000 decision of the Florida Supreme Court overturning the results of a 1998 ballot measure election regarding the Preservation of the Death Penalty Act, which Florida voters approved by 72.8% in November 1998.[1]

The vote on the Florida Supreme Court was 4-3. The majority ruled that the ballot title and summary for the amendment were defective and that the amendment was therefore invalid.

A portion of the ballot title ("United States Supreme Court interpretation of cruel and unusual punishment") and a sentence in the summary (“Requires construction of the prohibition against cruel and/or unusual punishment to conform to United States Supreme Court interpretation of the Eighth Amendment") "imply that the amendment will promote the rights of Florida citizens through the rulings of the United States Supreme Court”, but the amendment "effectively strikes the state Clause from the constitutional scheme."

External links

  • A case history of Armstrong v. Harris, including this noteworthy comment from LEWIS, J. dissenting: "Once again, the judicial system is being asked not only to intervene in a matter that addresses the intent and understanding of Florida voters in connection with the performance of the most basic function in the democratic process, but in so doing, to invalidate the result of a vote after the citizens of Florida have already exercised their franchise and voiced a decision. I am troubled ..."