For Immediate Release
Contact: Erin VanSickle
YES ON 9 Calls Court Decision “A Setback for Liberty”
(Orlando, FL – July 23, 2010)— Circuit Court Judge James Shelfer ruled today in favor of attorney Mark Herron’s lawsuit against Health Care Freedom for the people of Florida, moving the Democrat operative’s big-government, special interest agenda one step forward. Judge Shelfer denied Attorney General Bill McCollum’s request to place the text of the Amendment on the ballot which would have simultaneously avoided unnecessary litigation over three alleged misleading statements in the ballot summary, granted plaintiffs’ requested relief, and protected Floridians’ constitutional right to be heard in November. The Florida Supreme Court has taken similar action in the past to avoid wasting taxpayer dollars and subverting the Amendment process.
“The Florida legislature, unlike citizen initiatives, does not enjoy the luxury of a Supreme Court review of summary language prior to placement on the ballot,” explained Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood). “By providing voters the text of the Amendment, the Attorney General hoped to remedy any potential problem areas. Unfortunately, Judge Shelfer’s ruling paves the way for a legal technicality to block Floridians’ right to vote for a protection of their healthcare freedom. This is a setback for liberty.”
The Attorney General will again argue for the people at a July 29th hearing at which the judge will hear arguments on whether or not plaintiffs are able to clearly and convincingly prove that three isolated statements in the ballot summary are misleading. The ruling will determine whether or not the Amendment appears on the ballot.
“Today illustrates why voters are angry and frustrated,” continued Rep. Plakon. “Who can blame them when a fundamental right that enjoys overwhelming public support and has been approved by a super-majority of their elected representatives may be denied to citizens through liberal, special interest lawyering.”
“Our freedom is under attack from special interest, win-at-all-cost, big government liberals bent on expanding government into every aspect of our lives,” said Sen. Carey Baker (R-Eustis). “What’s much more confusing than the allegedly misleading twenty words found in the Amendment 9 ballot summary is deciphering the implications of the 2,100 page healthcare bill passed by the Democratic Congress against the will of a majority of Floridians. I am optimistic that greater wisdom will be shown at the July 29th hearing, and Floridians will not be denied the opportunity to participate in the healthcare debate.”
If Judge Shelfer rules on July 29 to remove Amendment 9 from the ballot, the Attorney General’s office plans to appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.
Visit the YES ON 9 Campaign at www.FLHealthcareFreedom.org for additional information.
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