By Jesse Phillips
Last year, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid teamed up to pass what became known as Obamacare, against the clear will of the American people. Taking control of one-sixth of our economy was a temptation too hard to resist for the most radical leftist congress and presidential administration in our nation’s history. Only time will tell how deep and pervasive the negative consequences will be to our economy and to our freedom.
With a number of other states, Florida took decisive action to protect against this historic Federal power grab, passing a law known as the Health Care Freedom Act, which rightfully protected Floridians from the individual mandate provisions of Obamacare which require individuals and companies be taxed and/or fined for not purcahsing health insurance or purchasing what the infinitely wise government deems as the wrong insurance plans. For the first time in our lives, we are going to be taxed for breathing by a statist government whose actions betray a belief that the state owns the people and has a vested interest in regulating their health.
Fortunately, the Florida’s representatives did what they were elected to do, and that’s pose a question to the citizens. The question was a referendum on the Obama health care overhaul in the form of a proposed ballot initiative asking Floridians if we wanted to enshrine the Health Care Freedom Act on our state constitution. Florida state law gives citizens the power to decide on amendments proposed by the legislature.
Floridians were poised to follow Missouri and deliver a significant blow to the leftist march toward a single-payer health care system which we all know has worked so well in Canada and Europe. Fortunately for Obama, like so many other instances when freedom threatened to break loose, the court system intervened and saved the day. Justices Jorge Labarga and James Perry rescued Obamacare from the scrutiny and potential rebuke of an opposition amendment.
In a 5-2 decision, Labarga, Perry and three other justices showed utter contempt and disregard for the rights of Floridians to vote on amendments proposed by the legislature, decided on the matter themselves, agreeing with a handful of liberal democrats who campaigned for Obama, that the whole proposal was nothing more than Republicans trying to mislead people. If this does not constitute bad behavior, disregard for the rule of law and appropriate balance of power between branches, then these things simple don’t exist.
This November, Jorge Labarga and James Perry will be up for a merit retention vote. We believe that this decision warrants their removal Labarga and Perry for three reasons:
- Judicial Activism and Party Politics: An inconsistent ruling in favor of several plaintiffs with publicly known ties to the administration, which conveniently prevents a potential challenge to Obama’s health care plan, constitutes judicial activism and legislating from the bench, not interpreting the law in respect of the Constitution. In doing so, these Justices exhibited a callous disregard for the rights of the Legislature, as a co-equal branch of government to propose constitutional amendments, and of Floridians to vote on such proposals.
- Disenfranchised Voters: Millions of voters were disenfranchised when their constitutional right to vote on proposed amendments was taken away after four plaintiffs thought the ballot summary was “misleading.” The Court’s lack of respect for the Legislature’s role of representing the will of the people resulted in the amendment being removed from the ballot.
- Inconsistent, Arbitrary Precedent: The decision to keep Amendment 9 off the ballot was a direct reversal of the action taken by the Court in 2004, when it unanimously (joined by current Justices Lewis, Quince, and Pariente) ordered the Legislature’s proposed amendment text to be placed on the ballot in lieu of a ballot summary the Court found misleading. By citing case law decided before the Legislature exempted itself from a ballot summary requirement in 2000, in order to justify the Court’s inability to simply place the amendment text on the ballot as it did in 2004, the Court has arbitrarily and inconsistently interpreted the law to enfranchise voters in one case and disenfranchise voters in another.
Fortunately for Floridians, citizens have recourse when their freedoms are threatened. Judges are not appointed for life. They are only allowed to maintain their positions during periods of good behavior, which is defined as consistently ruling in a way that upholds the constitution, rule of law, proper balance of powers, the net effect of which keeps us free from an unruly court system.
Any Floridian with a vested interest in their own freedom should vote no do not retain Jorge Labarga and James Perry this November.
(Partner with Restore Justice Campaign if you agree)
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