Today, the Bill of Rights is the primary U.S. legal document guaranteeing personal rights and freedoms to all citizens. Both the Bill of rights and the Florida Constitution provide a detailed list of human rights. Nevertheless, there is a difference between the way the rights are presented and interpreted. The Bill of rights and the Florida Constitution have incongruities in some of the sections and laws.
The first right, which is found in sections of both the Bill of Rights and the Florida Constitution, is the right to bear arms. The specific document where it is outlined is the Second Amendment (The Bill of Rights, n.d.). This section provides guidelines on the legality of possessing weapons seen as a prerequisite to freedom (Greenberg & Page, 2018). In a similar way, section 8 of the Florida Constitution enables citizens to possess arms (Constitution of the State of Florida, n.d.). Unlike the Second Amendment, this section specifies that the purpose of bearing guns is defense, thus implying that using having weapons may be illegal in some cases.
The second right exercised by both documents is the freedom of religion. In the case of the US Constitution, it is protected by the First Amendment (The Bill of Rights, n.d.). Meanwhile, section 3 in the Florida Constitution is specific in how religious freedom is exercised (Constitution of the State of Florida, n.d.). The third right under focus is the freedom of speech. On the federal level, it is covered by the First Amendment (The Bill of Rights, n.d.). Similarly to the former, section 4 of the Florida Constitution protects this right, but it also warns of the responsibility not to abuse it (Constitution of the State of Florida, n.d.). Essentially, Florida’s law is more sensitive towards regulating hate speech, which is not considered by the Bill of Rights (Howard, 2019). This implies that the freedom of speech is not so universal as the First Amendment may proclaim.
Thus, the comparison of the two documents show that there are significant differences in the ways the same rights can be interpreted. The Florida’s law makes more specific commentaries on the circumstances when a certain action violates human’s rights. This document takes into account the purpose of the act, the circumstances, and the moral significance of the crime committed. Reading of Florida law gives more insight into exactly how it can be applied.
Greenberg, E. S., & Page, B. I. (2018). Revel for the struggle for democracy, 2018 elections and updates edition. Pearson Education.
Howard, J. W. (2019). Free speech and hate speech. Annual Review of Political Science, 22, 93-109.