No Amendment 5 Or 7 Or 9 (Updated)

Via Michael Masinter I hear,

After oral argument this morning, the Florida supreme court unanimously struck from the November ballot amendments 7 and 9 proposed by the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission. The two amendments would have amended the Florida constitution to authorize school vouchers, to remove its “no aid” to religious institutions provision from the declaration of rights, and to write the dissent in Locke v. Davey into Florida constitutional law.

Opinion to follow – I think the court had to decide today so the ballots could be printed.

UPDATE: A friend writes to inform me,

My understanding is that the Court moved these AOs up and had to act right away because the Sec of State had said that he was going to certify the amendments on Friday. The order on #7 and #9 tells the circuit court to enter final judgment by tomorrow, Thursday. Judgment on #5 is affirmed and thus final.

UPDATE2: Indeed, the court kicked three amendments off the ballot, all evil and misleadingly described. Amendment Five was the insane property tax amendment — cut property taxes 25% and tell the legislature to make it up to the schools somehow. Seven and nine were as described above.

Amendment Five looked headed for defeat — a majority may have been for it, but not the super-majority required; I think its backers, not least the Governor, may breath a secret sigh of relief. I don't know if the absence of seven and nine (and five) will remove what had been seen as a push for right-wingers to turn out at the polls. After all, Amendment 2, the marriage amendment, is still on the ballot.

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