Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics.
“Bundling” different policy in proposed constitutional amendments is like forcing diners to select a set menu rather than letting them eat a la carte, a lawyer suggested Wednesday.
Joseph Little, a constitutional scholar and retired professor of the University of Florida’s law school, told Tallahassee Circuit Judge Karen Gievers that bundling, or combining different ideas, may force voters to say ‘yes’ to something they oppose to vote for something they favor.
Their only other option is to not vote on a particular amendment, which he called a violation of their First Amendment rights.
Little represents retired state Supreme Court Justice Harry Lee Anstead. He and former state elections Commissioner Robert Barnas filed a challenge to six of the eight amendments placed on the ballot by the 2017-18 Constitution Revision Commission (CRC), saying they were improperly bundled, also known as “logrolling.”
The case, originally filed with the Supreme Court, was bumped down to a trial court.
Little likened the situation to having to vote for all Republicans or all Democrats — or not voting at all. Take Amendment 9, he said, which bans offshore drilling and indoor vaping. He called the two issues unrelated, and their combination “totally unnecessary.”
Deputy Solicitor General Jordan Pratt, representing the state, countered that voters often don’t get to pick a la carte, mentioning that a vote for a president includes a vote for a vice-president and vice versa.
And there is no judicial authority that guarantees one a right to vote on an unbundled CRC amendment, Pratt said.
Gievers said she will rule “as quickly as possible.”
The measures at issue include amendments that already have been ordered off the ballot by circuit judges: Amendment 8, a contentious education-related amendment; and Amendment 6, which would create a crime victims’ bill of rights and raise judicial retirement ages. Those appeals were argued before the Supreme Court this afternoon.
Anstead also is going after Amendment 7, which would extend survivor benefits to first responders and military, among other things; Amendment 9, Amendment 10, which would overhaul state and local governments by requiring certain offices now appointed to be elected; and Amendment 11, which deals with property rights and criminal laws.
Yet another amendment aimed at ending live greyhound racing in Florida, Amendment 13, was ordered off the ballot by Gievers in a separate challenge; that case is awaiting a decision by Supreme Court.
“Ron DeSantis to name Jeanette Nuñez as Florida’s first Cuban-American female running mate” via Marc Caputo of POLITICO Florida
“Will surge in women running for office lead to big victories in November?” via Diane Rado of Florida Phoenix
“Key moments from Brett Kavanaugh’s combative hearing” via Rebecca Morin of POLITICO
“Marco Rubio hallway confrontation with Alex Jones: ‘Don’t touch me again, man’” via Dartunorro Clark of NBC
“Bill Nelson files bill to get veterans access to medical cannabis” via A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics
“Poll: Rick Scott, Nelson tied in U.S. Senate race” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“Judge orders Scott to release travel records, future campaign schedule” via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times
“Michelle Obama will help engage voters in South Florida” via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times
“Mac ‘the Quote’ Stipanovich: If Andrew Gillum is socialist, so is DeSantis” via Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times
“Primary epilogue: Chris King got money’s worth; Jeff Greene is a putz” via Peter Schorsch of Florida Politics
“Realtors sink $4 million into constitutional amendment” via the News Service of Florida
“HD 47 push poll question on Iran has both Anna Eskamani and Stockton Reeves incensed” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“Orange County Republicans call for Kathy Gibson to resign RPOF post” via Scott Powers of Florida Politics
“Spanish-language ballots an ‘impossibility,’ 32 counties say” via Steve Bousquet of the Tampa Bay Times
“Former school Deputy Scot Peterson subpoenaed to testify before commission investigating Parkland shooting” via David Fleshler of the Sun Sentinel
“Mogul won’t remove sunglasses, denied hotel check-in; claims possible racial profiling” via Eliot Kleinberg of the Palm Beach Post
Quote of the Day
“Don’t touch me again, man … You’re not going to get arrested. I’ll take care of you myself.” — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio to hoaxer and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones as Jones interrupted Rubio’s conversation with reporters and touched his shoulder.
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Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll will leave the agency effective Thursday. Carroll announced his resignation Aug. 10. Gov. Rick Scott appointed Rebecca Kapusta to serve as interim secretary after Carroll leaves.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, created after the mass shooting in February that killed 17 people, will continue a two-day meeting. That’s at 8:30 a.m., BB&T Center, Chairman’s Club, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise.
The Florida Elections Canvassing Commission will meet to certify the results of the Aug. 28 primary elections. That’s at 9 a.m., Cabinet meeting room, the Capitol.
Gov. Rick Scott will host a “Let’s Get to Work: Kickoff to November” event and Republican unity rally with statewide candidates and others. Invitees include Ron DeSantis, Matt Caldwell, Ashley Moody, Jimmy Patronis, Adam Putnam and Pam Bondi. That’s at 10 a.m., Ace Café Orlando, 100 W Livingston St., Orlando.
The Florida Supreme Court is expected to release its regular weekly opinions at 11 a.m.
The Florida Transportation Commission will take up an oversight report about transportation authorities throughout the state. That’s at 11:30 a.m., Burns Building, 605 Suwannee St., Tallahassee.
The Sarasota Tiger Bay Club will host a discussion about proposed constitutional amendments on the November ballot. Among expected speakers: former state Sen. Lisa Carlton, who served on the 2017-18 Constitution Revision Commission. That’s at noon, Michael’s on East, 1212 East Ave. South, Sarasota.
Jeff Weaver, who managed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, will speak to the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club. That’s at noon, St. Petersburg Yacht Club, 11 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.