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Judge tosses Amendment 9 from ballot

A judge removed from the November ballot Thursday a proposed constitutional amendment that would have blocked the state from implementing a health care plan similar to President Barack Obama's federal plan, saying the ballot summary was "manifestly misleading."

“Someone voting on the amendment reading those introductory statements would have a false understanding of what they were voting on,” said circuit judge James Shelfer in a ruling from the bench.

It’s the third legislative proposal that has been declared misleading by judges and knocked off the November ballot. Other proposals dealt with the Leigslature’s power to draw new political boundaries and give property tax breaks to people with second homes and businesses.

The first sentence of the summary says the amendment would “ensure access to health care services without waiting lists, protect the doctor-patient relationship, (and) guard against mandates that don’t work.”

Shelfer ruled those phrases are not addressed in the proposal’s text and that the amendment does not guarantee any of those things.