TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Supreme Court has ordered the removal of Amendment 8 from the Florida General Election ballot, upholding a previous court decision that found that the amendment was misleading to voters. The court also left two other challenged proposed amendments – Amendment 6 and Amendment 13 – on the ballot.
The ACLU of Florida has opposed Amendment 6 and Amendment 8, and submitted an amicus brief along with the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL), Florida Public Defenders Association, and the Innocence Project, urging the court to affirm a lower court decision holding that Amendment 6 was misleading to the public and should be stricken from the ballot.
Responding to today’s decision by the court, ACLU of Florida Executive Director Howard Simon stated:
“We are thankful to the court for removing the misleading Amendment 8 from Floridians’ November ballot. Amendment 8 was designed to mislead the public into voting for a major expansion of unregulated charter schools by removing voters’ ability to control education in their communities through their local school boards.
“We are disappointed, however, that the court did not also reject Amendment 6 for being equally misleading. The rights of victims of crime are already protected by Florida law, though Amendment 6’s appearance on the ballot suggests otherwise. The amendment would upset the balance between the rights of victims and people accused of crimes by deleting part of our constitution that balances the rights of everyone involved in a criminal case. In addition, the Constitution Revision Commission did not make it clear to voters that approving Amendment 6 would mean creating a new right for huge corporations to inject themselves into criminal proceedings in even relatively minor cases like shoplifting.
“Our state’s constitution serves as the stronghold for the rights and liberties of all Floridians, and the way these proposed amendments were put to the voters by the Constitution Revision Commission was misleading. We are grateful for the court for rejecting Amendment 8, and look forward to the voters of Florida similarly rejecting Amendment 6.”