Jun 30

Kerr vs. Hickenlooper update

TABOR Committee members and TABOR friends,

This morning saw an important step in a case that threatens the very existence of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.  The development should be good news for our side.

As a reminder – current and former members of the state legislature (and others) sued in federal court alleging that TABOR removes legislators’ ability to “govern effectively.”  The case to declare TABOR unconstitutional is defended by the Colorado Attorney General.  Although the Plaintiffs claim to target only TABOR, if their legal theory were to win, all restrictions on the powers of legislators that came into being through initiated ballot issues would be threatened.  The possible mischief by unguided, unlimited legislators would be essentially unbounded.  The TABOR Foundation was one group to file a “friend of the court” brief to support the defense of TABOR.  Very central to the current status is the Defendant’s argument that some issues may be decided only in the political realm; that interference by the judicial branch is constitutionally inappropriate.  Both a liberal trial judge and a liberal panel of judges in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals were ready to allow the federal court to hear the merits of the case.  Acting to protect TABOR, the Defendant filed a request to the US Supreme Court for it to rule on whether the case should proceed. Continue reading

Jan 30

The Supreme Court is considering a challenge to Colorado’s TABOR law

POLITICS

The Supreme Court is considering a challenge to Colorado’s TABOR law

By Mark K. Matthews
The Denver Post

POSTED:   01/12/2015 12:01:00 AM MST

Douglas Bruce, author of the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, is pictured in 2005.

Douglas Bruce, author of the state’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, is pictured in 2005.

 

WASHINGTON — If Colorado politics were like daytime TV, then the state’s controversial TABOR law would be its longest-running soap opera.

Few issues can match the drama — and staying power — of the 1992 measure, which has survived repeated attempts to dismantle its requirement that lawmakers get permission from voters before raising taxes.

Now, though, the so-called Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights is getting a shot at prime time. As soon as Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide the fate of a lawsuit against TABOR.

To read the rest of this article, click the following link:
http://www.denverpost.com/politics/ci_27302332/supreme-court-is-considering-challenge-colorados-tabor-law

Jan 22

Lawsuit challenging TABOR headed to federal appeals court

Lawsuit challenging TABOR headed to federal appeals court

POSTED:   11/06/2012
By Tim Hoover

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hear an appeal of a lower federal court’s ruling that allowed a landmark challenge to the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights to move forward.

The ruling by the three-judge panel means the state still has a chance to derail the lawsuit, Kerr v. Hickenlooper, before it can head to trial.

The suit, filed by 33 plaintiffs who are mostly Democrats, argues that by taking away lawmakers’ ability to tax, TABOR violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee that every state have a republican form of government, or one where elected officials govern rather than the citizens themselves.

In July, U.S. District Judge William J. Martínez ruled the suit could go forward to trial, denying the state’s motion to dismiss and rejecting its argument that the issues in the case are “non-justiciable” political questions that can’t be decided by the courts. If the appeals court upholds Martínez’s ruling, the case would likely to proceed to trial.

Tim Hoover: 303-954-1626,thoover@denverpost.comortwitter.com/timhoover

Read more:Lawsuit challenging TABOR headed to federal appeals court – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_21942741/lawsuit-challenging-tabor-headed-federal-appeals-court#ixzz2CWgG51DS
Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse

Dec 29

The national impact of a Colorado court case

Who is in charge of the American republic?

 A case out of the federal district court of Colorado could answer that question, if the Supreme Court takes the matter up next spring.

In 1992 Coloradans voted to amend their state constitution in order to impose restraints on their government’s power to tax and spend. The Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) has since given citizens the final say on new or increased taxes and spending.

That right, however, is now under threat from Kerr v. Hickenlooper , a lawsuit calling into question TABOR’s constitutionality. A federal appellate decision allowing this lawsuit to proceed is likely to reverberate in shockwaves throughout the nation.

Controversial from its inception, opponents of TABOR were concerned the law would make it more difficult for government to pursue costly new programs or to increase funding for existing programs. But the people spoke definitively when they adopted TABOR, both because it’s their tax dollars at stake and because they believed that government exists to serve their interests.

Not surprisingly — having lost in the court of public opinion — TABOR’s opponents have turned to lawsuits. They first brought suit in state court, arguing that TABOR’s fiscal limitations were somehow in conflict with the Colorado Constitution’s requirement that the state must provide adequate funding for public schools.

Never mind that TABOR allows schools to receive continued funding at existing levels, with annual adjustments for inflation and population growth. TABOR even allows for new or increased taxes when the citizens of the community approve the measure in a vote.

Continue reading

Nov 22

Kerr vs. Hickenlooper motion asking the Supreme Court to take up the appeal

Friends of TABOR,
Please recall that the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the “Fenster” lawsuit (“Kerr vs. Hickenlooper”) to declare TABOR unconstitutional under the US Constitution could move to the trial phase.  Attorney General John Suthers asked the US Supreme Court to review that case, arguing that such an issue is NOT for the courts to decide, but instead is a political issue.
 
Your TABOR Foundation (sister organization to the TABOR Committee) joined the national office of NFIB to file a friend-of-the-court brief (an amicus)  on the motion asking the Supreme Court to take up the appeal.  The arguments presented in this brief just nail the issue, and I am proud to be associated with this effort – I want to stop people in the street and show them what a great read this is (scroll down to page 17 to start).
 
If you have questions about the process or the content of what we are trying to accomplish, please know that you may contact me by email or by phone.
 
Penn Pfiffner
Chairman

Amicus for Petition US Supreme Ct