Mid-twentieth-century Florida was a state in flux. Changes exemplified by rapidly burgeoning cities and suburbs, the growth of the Kennedy Space Center during the space race, and the impending construction of Walt Disney World overwhelmed the outdated 1885 constitution. A small group of rural legislators kwn as the Pork Chop Gang controlled the state and thwarted several attempts to modernize the constitution. Through court-imposed redistribution of legislators and the hard work of state leaders, however, the executive branch was reorganized and the constitution was modernized. In Making Modern Florida, Mary Adkins goes behind the scenes to examine the history and impact of the 1966-68 revision of the Florida state constitution. With storytelling flair, Adkins uses interviews and detailed analysis of speeches and transcripts to vividly capture the moves, gambits, and backroom moments necessary to create and introduce a new state constitution. This carefully researched account brings to light the constitutional debates and political processes in the growth to maturity of what is w the nation's third largest state.
Mary E. Adkins is director of legal writing and appellate advocacy and master legal skills professor at the University of Florida's Fredric G. Levin College of Law, USA.