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Politics

Panel Approves Revamping Right to Privacy

January 25, 2018 - 10:45pm

A proposal that would narrow the right to privacy in the state Constitution was approved Thursday by a panel of the Florida Constitution Revision Commission.

In a 4-3 vote, the commission’s Declaration of Rights Committee agreed to a proposal that would say people have a right to be free from governmental intrusion “with respect to privacy of information and the disclosure thereof.”

Commission member John Stemberger, who is sponsoring the measure (Proposal 22), said the 10-word addition to the privacy clause is aimed at restoring the right to its original intent and to act as a correction to court decisions that have extended the clause to abortion cases.

“It’s about restraining the Florida Supreme Court’s gross overreach by ignoring the original intent of the amendment and in doing so producing bad public policy,” said Stemberger, who is from Orlando.

Stemberger said if voters approve the amendment it would not eliminate the right to an abortion, which is protected under federal court rulings, but it would allow Florida to impose “reasonable regulations” on abortion procedures.

He said the amendment could lead to laws requiring parental consent before minors can have abortions and requiring 24-hour waiting periods before abortions, two measures that have been struck down by Florida courts based on the privacy clause.

Kimberly Scott, representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, asked the committee to reject the measure, saying it could have “dangerous implications for women’s health,” including imposing the 24-hour waiting period.

“This specific clause has protected women from onerous and medically unnecessary restrictions intended to limit access to abortion services,” Scott said.

Ingrid Delgado of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops urged the committee to support the measure, saying it would clarify the original intent of the privacy clause.

“It’s lamentable that this clause historically intended to protect privacy of information, and not intended to address abortion, has established in our state a broader right to abortion than the federal Constitution,” Delgado said.

Commission member Arthenia Joyner, a former state senator from Tampa, voted against the proposal, saying Florida should protect the right to privacy.

“Do I want to give government broader powers to snoop into my personal business?” Joyner said. “Because make no mistake, that’s exactly what this amendment would do.”

Stemberger disputed arguments that courts should have the ability to expand their constitutional interpretations based on changes in society. He said those expansions should be limited to amendments put on the ballot and approved by voters.

“That’s the way the Constitution lives and breathes, not through the court making law on its own whim,” Stemberger said.

The proposal next heads to the commission’s Judicial Committee. If eventually approved by 22 members of the 37-member Constitution Revision Commission, the measure would be placed on the 2018 general election ballot. It would have to be approved by at least 60 percent of voters to be enacted.

Comments

Stay out of our lives.

Yes, Yes Mr Stemberger, we believe everything you jam down our throats . . . . . this Dead on Arrival with the voters amendment has nothing to do (once again) with trying to incite the emotional right to stampede to the election booth for a hot button issue (abortion), now does it . . . . . . . . . . PATHETIC . . . .

Who are you, John Stemberger, to decide what the original intent of the Privacy Act is? Were you there when it was originally written? Know anyone that was? What makes you believe it didn't extend to abortion cases? Abortion has been going on since the days Homo Sapiens first walked the planet - long before uninformed politicians like you. The writers of the constitution were as forward thinking as you are backward thinking. They lived lives rich with innovation and concern for an unjust society. Did they know we would drive cars and fly to moon? Of course not. But they saw much progress over the course of their lives and envisioned provisions that were flexible enough to encompass a future they couldn't even conceive of. That's more than can be said of you and the three other commissioners who voted to move this abomination of a proposal forward. Shame on you all for your narrow-mindedness! ommission member John Stemberger, who is sponsoring the measure (Proposal 22), said the 10-word addition to the privacy clause is aimed at restoring the right to its original intent and to act as a correction to court decisions that have extended the clause to abortion cases. “It’s about restraining the Florida Supreme Court’s gross overreach by ignoring the original intent of the amendment and in doing so producing bad public policy,” said Stemberger, who is from Orlando.

The "Florida Constitution Revision Commission"... : Either we get rid of this redundant "Commission", or we get rid of the "Legislature" itself (along with ALL of the "Lobbys" and "Special Interest" groups "blowing out the Tallahassee Capitol seams" on a 'daily basis'. "Too many Cooks spoil the broth"... Our "political system" has become a "Many-headed Hydra" ignorantly bent on consuming itself and destroying Florida. THIS is "sleight of hand" (Folks, Voters, Constituents),..it's all about transferring the contents of your wallet to the "political Hope Chest", and ALL the various "leeches" thereon & therein. Make no mistake Folks: We are in the era of "out of control politics wielded by incompetent people in power" AND on a record slide to destruction of the "Orange State"....as we know it ! VOTE THEM OUT,...WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME...!

This clause is being inserted into law to enhance the right to privacy. Hummmmm Privacy means that an individual has a right to not have intimate information spread all over the world about them. 10 more words will help protect them from people that DON'T believe in the right to privacy in certain situations. So again Words will stop people that ignore the words anyhow? YEA - Wasted time, money, and effort on the part of these bozos.

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