League of Women Voters of Florida, et al. v. Kenneth J. Detzner
Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission, an entity created every 20 years to revise the state’s laws, attempted to place a constitutional amendment on the state’s 2018 ballot that would have eliminated the duties of school boards to regulate public schools in their districts, including charter schools. The amendment, however, failed to inform voters of its chief purpose, and deliberately concealed its true effect on public schools, sparking an SPLC lawsuit that removed the amendment from the ballot.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the League of Women Voters, stated that the amendment, known as Revision 8, obscured voters’ choices by combining the summaries of three separate measures into a single description. The additional measures intended to limit school board members’ terms and require “promotion of civic literacy” for students, which were anticipated to win widespread support among voters.
Florida voters would have had no choice but to approve or reject all three.
In August 2018, Leon County Circuit Court Judge John C. Cooper agreed with the suit’s argument that Revision 8’s language does not accurately inform Florida voters of its true intent. He ordered the amendment removed from the ballot. The Florida Supreme Court upheld the decision to strike Revision 8 from the ballot.