Your article on the “confusion” surrounding the restoration of Florida felons’ voting rights points out a difficult, and recurring, issue under court interpretation of Florida’s constitutional provisions granting rights: Too frequently, the provisions are construed as not being “self-executing,” which places the implementation of the provision into the hands of the Legislature and not the people, who approved the provision to counter legislative inaction or hostility. An example: Article II, Section 7(b) of the Florida Constitution includes language that states quite clearly that those who pollute waters within the Everglades Protection Area shall be “primarily responsible for paying the costs of the abatement of that pollution.” The provision was adopted in 1995. The Florida Supreme Court held the provision is not self-executing, and required legislative action. I have been unable to find any such legislative action. Thus, the cleanup burden falls on taxpayers and not polluters. Will a similar fate of no legislative action thwart the people’s voice regarding felons’ voting rights?
Richard Jacobs, Tierra Verde