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Should court be able to strip lawmakers’ amendments off ballot?

by Dara Kam | March 21st, 2011

A measure that would bar the Florida Supreme Court from stripping proposed constitutional amendments off the ballot because of deficiencies in the ballot title or summary narrowly made it through its first stop in the Senate this morning.

The proposal (SB 1504) also would impose more restrictions on petition gatherers.

House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos have gone after the court for tossing a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow Florida to opt out of the federal health care law. The proposal would require the court to send an amendment back to the state department with instructions on how to fix it and allow the secretary of state to alter it and then place it directly on the ballot without further court review.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. David Simmons, R-Maitland, would also:
-Require the paid signature gatherers to be eligible vote in Florida;
- Prohibit them from being paid by the petition;
- Require that their names be on all the petitions;
- Reduce from four years to 20 months the amount of time the petitions are valid.

The bill passed on a 7-5 vote, with Republican Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, joining Democrats in opposition.

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12 Responses to “Should court be able to strip lawmakers’ amendments off ballot?”

  1. M47 Says:

    The Founding Fathers would turn in their graves…..our system of checks and balances was designed for this very reason, one branch can not and must not neutralize the other. As it is, the budget of the Judicial branch is looking to be cut further thus affecting you and I. Do not look at this measure along party lines, but as Americans……remember, that’s what we were before we became Republicans or Democrats.

  2. Financial Attorney Says:


    I agree.

    Mike Hardiopolo is uneducated and as a Republican myself. I have a big problem with Mike (no college understand of economics, finance, business, etc) Hardiopolo playing chicken with Florida Court.

    Dean Cannon is a attorney, and I assure you the Florida Bar will go after his license in near future. Several Bar members in decision making process have said Dean’s now on bar’s “hit list”.

    As for Mike Hardiopolo, has a worthless history degree. Over the Mike Hardiopolo has never had a real job in his life. Every job the guy’s had is taxpayer funded. Further after Mike being in Florida Government for years. What’s Mike Hardiopolo done for any Floridian since he’s been in office? Nothing, Mike Hardiopolo is a waste of a human being.

  3. Alicia Keller Says:

    Florida’s Republican “leaders” are looking control that they have NO RIGHT to pursue. The wording on their amendments is often terribly confusing that even a judge had to read it 3 times before he understood it. We have to be able to rein in the Tallahassee Taliban and need the Supreme Court to handle these issues. The Republicans leading this drive ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW!

  4. Kevin Says:

    M47 is right and the republicans who supported this bill should really be ashamed of themselves. Just remember those amendments will still be in place when republicans are no longer the majority and will be used against them when the time comes. Be careful what you vote for cause you just might get it. If these fired up fiscal conservative tea partiers want to do something people will respect them for, how about revising the congressional pay and benefits packages especially the health care coverage for life benefit they all enjoy on our backs. It’s too expensive and they do not deserve it

  5. GT Says:

    Funny how these elitists in this blog are toward those with no higher education when it is clear that their education gave them no wisedom only knowlege. They are also vindictive with the bar going after his law license. I guess you must be on the left to be in the judicial system which is the point of the proposed law.

  6. OBIWAN Says:

    Consider the Wisconsin judge that decided the law passed was not valid as she determined the Legislature violated their meeting rules interpretations.

    Can ANY law not be stricken down for similar ‘housekeeping’ tricks?

    The ‘title’ appears vague to us?

    The description is not crisp and concise?

    Ice on the side streets prevented protestors from making the chamber to speak out that day?

    You failed to get it down to twitters 144 characters?

    Anyone can spin anything they want to the anti sentiment! IF FL Supremes want to be a court of original jurisdiction, they have to stick to their expertise… did it pass Constitutional muster??

    Personal whims to partyline rabid progressive liberal ideology is not the basis for throwing out any legislative effort!

  7. Mike Says:

    Isn’t there a Republican mantra of “less regulation”?
    I don’t see less regulation in this proposal.
    I see government intrusion, control,and protectionism.
    Just a note for all who can’t remember when Democrats had a majority in the Florida Legislature.
    It was last century.

  8. M47 Says:

    Obiwan……….the lack of sense in your ranting reflects the basis of your argument being emotional rather than based on facts, though I grant you that facts can be “spinned” by one party or the other. Remember he words of Lincoln, “A house divided can not stand.” We all need to stand together and take our actions as citizens of a free society seriously and for the benefit of all. As for me, I will continue to endorse the separation of powers doctrine. And yes, Obiwan, fight for your right to freely express yourself, even if it makes no sense.

  9. Mike Says:

    OBIWAN, by definition The Supreme Court determines what is constitutional.
    Only the US Supreme Court has the power to determine Florida’s Supreme Court’s decisions constitutionality.
    What that court decides is Constitutional period.

  10. Unreal Says:

    How about a Constitutional Amendment banning the legislature from usurping the Court’s Authoritah!

  11. mike Says:

    the gop is going to steal the power they covet so much. people in this state are so stupid.

  12. Unreal Says:

    The democrats are no better. Both parties are full of whores, and neither cares about the people they are supposed to serve. Its either corporations, unions, or other lobbyists, both parties are guilty of the same thing. Don’t be fooled by the D or the R they are one in the same.

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