By Robert F. Sanchez, JMI Policy Director
“Let the people vote!” That was the media’s hue and cry when the Legislature rebuffed Governor Crist’s plea to pass a constitutional amendment barring oil drilling in Florida waters. As House Speaker Larry Cretul noted, calling an emergency special session was unnecessary. Florida law already bans offshore drilling, and nobody was inclined to change that law anytime soon – especially not while the investigation into BP’s oil spill continued.Yet that was then; this is now. So, where’s the media hue and cry now that the liberal wing of the Florida Supreme Court has denied Floridians the right to vote on not one, not two, but three proposals that the Legislature had placed on the November ballot?One proposal would have clarified the contradictory redistricting standards mandated by two petition-driven amendments the Court cleared. Another would have offered property-tax relief. A third would have let Floridians have a say on “Obamacare” and its mandate that everyone must buy health insurance.Meanwhile, another proposal tentatively scheduled for the November ballot – the amendment the Legislature proposed to ease some of the class-size amendment’s rigid restrictions – is also under attack by the usual suspects, including the teachers union.Also awaiting the Florida Supreme Court’s eventual scrutiny are two other troubling examples of judicial activism. One is a lower court ruling that a 2009 law modifying the state’s growth-management system is somehow “unconstitutional.” The other is a judge’s ruling that lets plaintiffs proceed with a lawsuit complaining that the Legislature isn’t “adequately” funding education.Taken together, these rulings suggest an urgent need for revisions in Florida’s civics curriculum. Instead of three branches of government – judicial, executive, and legislative – Florida now has a fourth: an all-powerful entity wherein appointed judges legislate from the bench.