Florida Supreme Court to Rule on Amendment 9

Michael Allen teaches constitutional law at Stetson University in St. Petersburg.
TAMPA (2010-08-17) -

On Wednesday, the Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments on Amendment 9, which challenges the federal health care overhaul passed earlier this year.

Amendment 9 says Florida residents can't be required to buy insurance under the new federal health care overhaul. At issue is the amendment's summary, which is what you read when you're in the voting booth.

A lower court judge called the abbreviated version "misleading" and ordered it tossed off the ballot. Stetson University law professor Michael Allen agreed.

"Remember, the summary does not become law. It's the amendment that does," said Allen, who specializes in Constitutional law. "But if you get everybody walking into the voting booth to say, 'Hey, the summary says this is going to get me more health care and I can't be required to do anything,' but in fact, the operative language of the amendment can in some circumstances lead to less health care -- well, that's misleading because they're voting for one thing but getting another."

Allen expects Florida's high court to rule within a few weeks to give election officials time to remove Amendment 9 from ballots -- or put it back on. Then it's up to federal courts to decide if sates should be allowed to reject universal health care at all.

To hear more of our conversation with Allen, including what he believes is the fate of Amendment 9, click here.

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