Re­vis­ing our Con­sti­tu­tion

South Florida Times - - HEALTH - Joseph Hatchett was the first black man elected to the Florida Supreme Court and in­vites Florid­i­ans to learn more about the con­sti­tu­tion re­vi­sion process at pro­tect­fldemoc­


The ju­di­ciary is the lone non­po­lit­i­cal branch un­der our sys­tem, and was built to be fair and im­par­tial. If amend­ments are added to our con­sti­tu­tion that do not up­hold that stan­dard, it will un­duly tip our del­i­cate bal­ance.

When Florida’s vot­ers con­sider the amend­ments that even­tu­ally are placed on the bal­lot, they should ap­ply sev­eral tests to each. Amend­ments should be time­less; if they con­cern top­ics that will be out of date or ir­rel­e­vant in the fu­ture, they don’t be­long in the con­sti­tu­tion. If they set spe­cific pol­icy, ap­ply only to a small num­ber of Florid­i­ans, or will cre­ate more prob­lems than they fix, they have no place in the con­sti­tu­tion.

I urge Florid­i­ans to amend the Florida Con­sti­tu­tion only with cau­tion. Our demo­cratic form of gov­ern­ment is rooted in the del­i­cate bal­ance of pow­ers, and to up­set that bal­ance would be detri­men­tal to Florida and Florid­i­ans on many lev­els. In Novem­ber 2018, when it comes time to vote, take a mo­ment to con­sider the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of each amend­ment you vote on. It could have a di­rect im­pact on you, and the peo­ple and things that mat­ter to you, for years to come.

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