Amendment 6:

There is a lot to unpack here, I don’t think a chart will suffice. There is also a need for lots of hyperlinks to cut some words out.

The Gist: Amendment 6 contains 3 parts, a little thing we refer to as “bundling”. The CRC had many submissions of issues that would change in our constitution, and this is one of them. Bundling is a point of contention for many people: Why are these issues linked together? What if I support one piece but not another? All good questions, but we don’t have enough time to address them.

So here is the breakdown, in three parts:

Part I: Rights of Victims

The constitutional amendment regarding the rights of crime victims—known as Marsy’s Law—would provide crime victims, their families, and their lawful representatives with specific rights, including a right to due process and to be treated with fairness and respect; a right to be free from intimidation, harassment, and abuse; a right to have the victim’s welfare considered when setting bail; a right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay, among others.

Obviously we want victims to feel safe, have a voice, and have their rights’ prioritized. But other people say, the majority of this is already enshrined in the State constitution, that it just deletes rights of the accused. This law is making it’s way around the country, with multiple states considering it this election cycle and before/beyond.

Part II: Judicial Retirement Age

This part would raise the mandatory retirement age from 70 to 75. Feelings are so strong about Part I, that there is not much support or opposition to this one. People who support this part, however, think that some judges are getting forced out when they are at their most experienced and knowledgeable. When the retirement age was set, the average life expectancy was 69.2. Now, it’s 80.

Part III: Changes to Judicial Deference

This part would “prohibit state courts from deferring to an administrative agency’s interpretation of a state statute or rule in lawsuits”. Again, not much to this one. Do you think that judges should include a Department’s interpretation of the law in their rulings?  Without that interpretation will they be missing perspective, or will they just be sticking to the law? Which do we want? Right now, the FL Supreme Court will usually defer to a agency, so it would be a change. 

They are all interesting to think about…so please do! Don’t just listen to the ads, there has been a lot of money sunk into them. Take some time to read the pros and cons from organizations you agree AND disagree with, and come to your own conclusion. Always.

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