The CRC concluded its process on April 16th with the passing of eight amendments that will now appear on the November 2018 ballot. Despite strong opposition from several civil rights and civil liberties organization, the CRC controversially combined (“logrolled”) dozens of unrelated proposals into eight revised bundled amendments. In order for any of the eight CRC amendments to become law, 60% of those voting on the amendment must vote in favor of the amendment.
The eight CRC Amendments that will appear on the ballot are as follows:
- Amendment 6: Rights of Crime Victims; Judges
- Amendment 7: First Responder and Military Member Survivor Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities
- Amendment 8: School Board Term Limits and Duties; Public Schools
- Amendment 9: Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces
- Amendment 10: State and Local Government Structure and Operation
- Amendment 11: Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes
- Amendment 12: Lobbying and Abuse of Office by Public Officers
- Amendment 13: Ends Dog Racing
The CRC created ballot titles and simplistic summaries for each of the above that can be found by clicking here.
Unfortunately, the cursory ballot titles and summaries in many instances do not accurately reflect the extensive and far-reaching changes that will be made to the constitution if approved, and do not educate the voters about the unintended consequences of each proposal. For a true understanding of the extensive, textual changes that will be made to the constitution if any of the CRC proposals are approved, please click here.
Two of the CRC proposals (Amendment 6 and 11) significantly impact the civil rights and liberties of all Floridians, and the ACLU of Florida takes the following positions on these CRC Amendments.
ACLU of Florida Opposes: Amendment 6
Ballot Summary Title: “Rights of Crime Victims; Judges”
Bundled: Proposal 96 (expanding victim rights, establishing constitutional rights for corporations in the criminal justice system, and deleting protections providing that the constitutional rights of the accused shall not be interfered with); Proposal 6 (eliminating deference to state agency interpretations of statutes and rules); Proposal 41(increasing judicial retirement age from 70 to 75).
Brief Summary: Expands and constitutionalizes broadly defined “victims” rights (including constitutional rights for corporations), deletes current constitutional language that provides that nothing shall interfere with the rights of the accused; eliminates current standard of judicial deference to state agency interpretations of its statutes; increases judicial retirement age from 70 to 75.
Concern: Amendment 6 deletes from Florida’s Constitution existing protections against any interference with the constitutional rights of the accused. The CRC was vested with protecting constitutional rights, not taking them away, and this Amendment literally deletes from our current constitution language that ensures that the rights of the accused will not be interfered with. Additionally, victims’ rights are already protected in our constitution, and those rights are currently carefully balanced with the rights of the accused. Any expansion of victims’ rights can be accomplished legislatively without deleting Constitutional protections for the accused. Moreover, the Amendment is overly broad and constitutionalizes corporation’s rights. Under Amendment 6, Walmart would have constitutional rights against an individual it accuses of shoplifting. For these reasons, we oppose Amendment 6.
Position: Oppose for the reasons stated above.
More on Marsy’s Law
- Defeated/efforts to repeal in the following states:
- Victims’ Rights Groups Against Marsy’s Law
- “Schools Choosing Students: How Arizona Charter Schools Engage in Illegal and Exclusionary Student Enrollment Practices and How It Should Be Fixed,” (ACLU Arizona Investigation, Dec. 2017)
- “Unequal Access: How Some California Charter Schools Illegally Restrict Enrollment,” (ACLU Southern California and Public Advocates)
- Separating fact from fiction in 21 claims about charter schools
ACLU of Florida Supports: Amendment 11
Ballot Summary Title: “Property Rights; Removal of Obsolete Provision; Criminal Statutes”
Bundled: Proposal 3 (alien land law), Proposal 12 (high speed rail language removal), Proposal 20 (amendment or repeal of criminal statutes)
Brief Summary: Deletes discriminatory provision concerning prohibition of alien ownership of property and obsolete provision regarding high speed rail system; modifies savings clause to allow for amendments of criminal statutes to apply retroactively.
Position: Support because it deletes unconstitutional provision concerning prohibitions on alien land ownership and because it would modify Florida’s constitutional “savings clause” to allow for amendments of criminal statutes to apply retroactively.