Justices To Decide Counties’ Ballot Fight Without Hearing

By on September 5, 2018 in News Service of Florida

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hold oral arguments in a challenge to a proposed constitutional amendment that has drawn attention from county governments.

Justices agreed last month to decide the case but will do so without oral arguments. The court Tuesday turned down a request from Broward and Miami-Dade counties for such arguments.

The case stems from a proposed constitutional amendment that the state Constitution Revision Commission placed on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The measure, known as Amendment 10, would make the five local constitutional offices — sheriff, tax collector, supervisor of elections, clerk of the court and property appraiser — mandatory and require elections for the offices in all 67 counties.

It would also prohibit charter counties from abolishing or modifying those offices. Charter counties have opposed the amendment, arguing that local voters through the charter process should have the power to decide how constitutional offices are structured and whether they should be elected positions.

Challenges filed in Leon County circuit court argued that the ballot language and summary were misleading and that, as a result, the proposal should not go to voters.

But Circuit Judge James Shelfer last month rejected those arguments, prompting Volusia, Miami-Dade and Broward counties to appeal.

The 1st District Court of Appeal then quickly passed the case along to the Supreme Court.

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