Four Florida women filed a suit against Florida Secretary of State Dawn Roberts and the Department of State on June 24 in Leon County court, seeking an injunction that would strike Amendment 9 from the November ballot.
The suit accuses Florida lawmakers of using “misleading language” to craft Amendment 9, the so-called “Health Care Freedom Act” that specifies that Florida residents cannot be punished for failing to participate in a mandated health insurance program. (You can read the suit in full or download it after the jump.)
The complaint describes plaintiffs Mona Mangat, Diana Demerest, Gracie Fowler and Louisa McQueeny as Florida citizens and registered voters, each with an interest in ensuring that “voters are provided with a clear and unambiguous statement of the chief purpose of the amendment, and that the description of the effect of the amendment does not mislead voters.”
The suit says that the placement of Amendment 9 on the upcoming ballot would be in direct violation of state statute 101.161, which states that proposed constitutional amendments be “printed in clear and unambiguous language on the ballot.”
According to the claim, Amendment 9 is rife with several false and misleading statements, such as its intent to ensure access to health care without unnecessary waiting lists. The suit alleges the amendment has nothing to do with waiting lists: “The statement is nothing more than false political commentary intended for no purpose other than to mislead voters into believing that the amendment will affect ‘waiting lists.’”
The suit further alleges that claims that the amendment will “affect doctor-patient relationships” and “guard against mandates that don’t work” are also deceptive and misleading.
A campaign sponsored by state Rep. Scott Plakon and state Sen. Carey Baker was recently launched to promote the amendment.