Happy New Year! No, I’ve not lost my mind, at least yet. Yes, I know we’re only halfway through the year (though November and subsequently January can’t get here fast enough). But yes, happy new year to you. That’s because today begins Florida’s new fiscal year and along with it most of the new policies passed earlier this year. That includes over 140 new laws that are on the books in our state as of today. That said the day starts with one that was scheduled to take effect but that has at least been held up temporarily, making the most news. Liberal Judge John Cooper’s decision to rule in favor of Planned Parenthood & Co. against the state on Florida’s new 15-week limit on most abortions, has taken center stage. While it remains to be seen whether Cooper’s decision holds upon appeal (it likely won’t) there remains a lesson to be learned by the rational used to at least temporarily hold it up. A 1980 state constitutional amendment which provided an undefined broad right to privacy. What this has to do with abortion is a good question. But in 1989, during a time in which Florida’s Supreme Court was comprised of exclusively Democrat appointed judges, it ruled it did – so here we are. While we await the result of the appeal (in which I’d be surprised if Cooper’s decision isn’t overturned as many of his rulings against the state have been) comes a reminder. A reminder of unintended consequences regarding Florida’s constitutional amendments. Why isn’t the Seminole Compact with sports betting which was signed into law by Governor DeSantis last year and approved by nearly 70% of Floridians in force today? Unintended consequences from a Constitutional Amendment most voters didn’t understand. It’s the same reason Florida’s 15-week limit on most abortions approved of by most Floridians isn’t either. There’s a time and place for constitutional amendments and there’s a time and place for legislation. In Florida we’ve been a bit carried away with attempting to legislate through constitutional amendments which have been led by interest groups with their own agendas carrying a myriad of unintended consequences. We need to be mindful. This year there are only three proposed amendments which have made our ballots – which I’ll cover in my usual Florida Amendment Series.