If you, a layperson, mention to your Florida lawyer that you have “a constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” you can usually expect to receive a dismissive eye-roll, a chuckle, or perhaps an earnest explanation that you have conflated the Declaration of Independence with the U.S. Constitution. If this happens your lawyer has failed you and is need of remedial education on the Florida Constitution. In our constitution, these are amongst your most basic fundamental rights.
ARTICLE I – DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
SECTION 2. Basic rights.—All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to pursue happiness, to be rewarded for industry, and to acquire, possess and protect property; except that the ownership, inheritance, disposition and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship may be regulated or prohibited by law. No person shall be deprived of any right because of race, religion, national origin, or physical disability.
Art. I Sec. 2 is also the core protection of Florida’s self-defense and property protection rights.