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Two Florida Religious Freedom Ballot Measures Disqualified

Proposed amendments to the Florida state constitution were disqualified Wednesday after a ruling by the Florida Supreme Court. The proposed amendments were placed on the ballot by the 2007-08 Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, a move that was reportedly engineered by former Governor Jeb Bush, according to Americans United for Church and State. The Court ruled that Commission acted outside its constitutional authority in proposing these particular amendments.

The proposed amendments would have ended Florida’s ban on tax aid to places of worship and religiously affiliated schools and would have allowed vouchers for private and religious schools. “Religious liberty and public education are two cornerstones of the American way of life, and these amendments would have badly damaged both of them,” said the Vice President of Americans United Rabbi Merrill Shapiro in a press release.

The Florida Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League, Andrew Rosenkranz, said in a press release that “the Florida Supreme Court has acted decisively to stop this onslaught on our religious freedom. In rebuking the activist Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, the Court acted prudently and has safeguarded the religious freedom of all Floridians.”

Sources:

Anti-Defamation League Press Release 9/3/08; Americans United for Separation of Church and State 9/3/08

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