August 15, 2008
Leon County Circuit Court Judge, John C. Cooper, entered an order a few minutes ago that strikes Amendment 5 from the November, 2008 ballot. He ordered it removed on the grounds that the ballot title and summary accompanying the proposed amendment are incomplete and misleading.
We anticipate that the Secretary of State and the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission (TBRC) will appeal immediately, and that the District Court will certify it directly to the Supreme Court based on what occurred with a similar order entered last week dealing with two other TBRC proposed amendments. This is due to the short time between now and the time that the General Election ballots will actually have to be printed.
I am personally confident that the Trial Court opinion will be upheld in regard to Amendment 5 in that it is pretty clear from the Judge's ruling today that the TBRC did a mediocre job of putting together a title and summary that meets the standards of accuracy required by the Courts.