For Immediate Release
Supreme Court Retreats from Unanimous 2004 Order, Denying Amendment 9 Vote for Floridians
(Orlando, FL – August 26, 2010)— Today the Florida Supreme Court ruled against the People of Florida and its Constitution. Russell Kent, special counsel to Attorney General Bill McCollum, representing the Secretary of State and Florida Legislature, lost on appeal before the state’s highest court. Amendment 9 was one of three constitutional amendments proposed by the legislature which was removed by Judge James Shelfer and subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court.
Unlike amendments proposed by citizen initiative, legislative amendments do not enjoy an opportunity for Supreme Court review prior to placement on the ballot. As such, proponents of legislative amendments removed by trial courts have little recourse prior to the September 2, 2010 ballot printing deadline. The Supreme Court disagreed with the State’s argument and did not follow its own unanimous 2004 ruling, where the Court ordered the amendment text of a legislatively-proposed amendment to be placed on the ballot in lieu of a ballot summary. The outcome was reached despite the fact that three current Justices joined in the unanimous 2004 decision (Pariente, Lewis and Quince).
“Today is a disappointing day,” said Senator Carey Baker (R-Eustis). “Tens of thousands of Floridians called or wrote their legislators in support of this bill; they attended rallies all over the state; and hundreds, if not thousands, even made the journey to Capitol to make their voices heard. This bill, this amendment, was one of the People. This bill was not driven by Tallahassee lobbyists. It was driven by concerned citizens who are tired of feeling the daily creep of government expansion into every corner of their life. Our opponents, cognizant that they would lose at the ballot box just as they did in Missouri, focused their energies in the courts, and the courts rewarded them. Today is a setback, but the dialogue will continue, and the Healthcare Freedom Act is one part of a broader conversation on the relationship between the citizenry and government. People are awakening to the founding principles that government is subservient to and works for We the People and not the other way around. While the courts struck down Amendment 9 this November, the debate will certainly continue.”
“On the first possible day for the upcoming session, I will refile the Florida Healthcare Freedom Act, hopefully as House Joint Resolution #1. The citizens of Florida were robbed today, and we will work hard to ensure it does not happen again,” said Representative Scott Plakon (R-Longwood). “Over the course of this effort, we have engaged citizens across the state. We have challenged Floridians to consider the exact nature of the relationship between government and the people. Overwhelmingly, they have shown that they reject the concept of government controlled healthcare, and we will give the people the opportunity to express this belief through the ballot box in 2012. This is by no means over.”
Visit the YES ON 9 Campaign at www.FLHealthcareFreedom.org for additional information.
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