Friends of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights,
Your TABOR Committee has a lot of irons in the fire, so I thought to take inventory:
The lawsuit alleging TABOR unconstitutional is Kerr vs. Hickenlooper. You might recall that a 3-judge appellate panel of the federal 10th Circuit found the trial could proceed. In a direct and forceful response, the Attorney General’s Office asked for an appellate review by the entire Court (“en banc”). From the opening salvo:
This case involves questions of exceptional importance: whether three state legislatorsmay enlist the federal judiciary to take sides in their dispute with the state’s constitution, its governor, and its people over the proper role of direct democracy. A case involving more fundamental issues about the proper role of the federal courts in a system of horizontally and vertically divided power is hard to imagine. If the panel decision stands, this Circuit will be alone in giving federal judges the power to decide that some laws are unconstitutional because they are too democratic.
The panel reached two holdings, each of which is unique among the circuits and conflicts with Supreme Court precedent…..
Both sides now have filed their briefs and the Court’s determination whether to hear the en banc appeal may come in June. Your TABOR Committee has continued in close contact with the headquarters office of the National Federation of Independent Business, so you may expect that we will file another friend-of-the-court as a next step, but that opportunity is not available yet.
The TABOR Foundation is in the appellate process for the second case of note, the Colorado Bridge Enterprise Fund. The appellate briefs by both sides are complete and oral argument is scheduled for July 8th. Please recall that we are represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation.
The other lawsuit for which the TABOR Foundation is the plaintiff regards the new taxes imposed without voter approval by the Regional Transportation District (and more). Mountain States Legal is our attorney on this as well. The case is in the early stages of “discovery” so any formal deadlines are some time away – look for next progress in the early fall.
We have accepted an invitation to present a break-out session on TABOR 101 at the Western Conservative Summit sponsored by the Centennial Institute.
The TABOR Committee has reached agreement with a national advocacy organization for help to increase the awareness and reach of our support of TABOR. Look for a scheduled event by this time next year.
An attorney and a law student are working with one of our Directors, Brad Hughes, to compile research on all the court cases within the past 22 years that have affected the scope and strength of TABOR (mostly to its detriment). That project is likely to take 12+ months.
As always, we always look for volunteer time from you to develop and manage projects and money to continue our operations. Successful volunteers may be approached for election to our Board of Directors. Please know that your comments and questions are welcome.
Penn Pfiffner 303-233-7731