One of the big stories of the day is buried in my newspaper, on the inside of the Metro section: 3 amendments kept off Florida ballot. Yes, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that would-be Amendments 3, 7 and 9 will not be on the November ballot, but Amendments 5 and 6 will be.
That means that the fair redistricting amendments pushed by Fair Districts Florida and supported by a massive numb er of voter signatures will be before the voters, but the sneaky underhanded attempt by the legislature to instantly undermine them (in Amendment 7) will not be. As the court of appeals noted, the summary of the amendment was so confusing even lawyers and judges couldn't figure it out.
This is a big deal, as Amendments 5 and 6 have the potential to be transformative and to fix one of the biggest things wrong with Florida politics: the very partisan gerrymandering of our electoral districts.l
Amendment 9 was an attempt to get out the Republican vote by offering a meaningless attempt to block part of Obama's healthcare program. It was meaningless and deceptive because the US Constitution contains something called the Supremacy Clause, which makes federal legislation trump state rules — even state constitutional rules. But voters were not told that, being led to think that their vote might mean something. Florida requires accuracy in ballot summaries.
Also chopped was Amendment 3, which would have given new homebuyers a tax credit, again for leaving out key details.
All the votes were 5-2.