Florida lawmakers aim to circumvent judicial review for proposed amendments

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December 10, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Florida: The 2010 election season resulted in three legislatively-referred measures being removed from the ballot following court rulings. Lawmakers are now in talks to prevent this occurrence on future ballots.[1]

On August 31, 2010 the state's high court upheld previous lower court decisions to throw out Florida Property Tax Limit, Amendment 3, Florida Redistricting, Amendment 7 and Florida Healthcare Freedom, Amendment 9. All were legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. All three were struck down by a 5-2 vote, with Chief Justice Charles Canaday and Justice Ricky Polston dissenting. According to the high court's ruling, all three were identified as "misleading."

"I respect the courts, it's part of the checks and balances. But when in doubt, and it's a gray area, I'd hope they'd defer to the elected representatives, especially when there's a super-majority vote involved," said Sen. Mike Haridopolos, who has since re-filed the health care amendment for 2012.[1]

According to reports, some proposals include giving lawmakers the authority to refer measures to the ballot without judicial scrutiny.[1]

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