TABOR Challenge May Continue, Says Federal Judge

Big news breaking this morning on TABOR. As Tim Hoover of the Denver newspaper reports, a federal judge rejected arguments from Attorney General John Suthers intended to prevent a legal challenge to the 1994 ballot measure that greatly restricts the State’s ability to raise and spend money.

Today’s decision means that the lawsuit will be heading for a trial. At issue is whether TABOR violates a U.S. Constitutional guarantee that every state is guaranteed a republican form of government as opposed to a direct democracy (where citizens govern themselves, essentially).  

19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Gray in Mountains says:

    lets go to court and see if we can return to sanity

    • faux_american says:

      It remains to be seen how far this challenge will go. Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that TABOR gets declared unconstitutional, I expect you’d see a backlash.  

  2. BlueCat says:

    serious legal consideration. This could have a huge impact on all kinds of  issues that have been taken directly to the people instead of proceeding through the channels of our elected representative  government .  I would like to see our cowardly elected officials forced to make the hard choices instead of deferring to a direct democracy which allows the legislature to escape responsibility.

  3. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    the amount of taxes collected?

    I voted against TABOR because I thought that there was a reason we elected representatives.

    Then, I came to favor TABOR when I saw what California and other states did during the boom times when they spent like drunken sailors.

    At this point in time, how much would really change if TABOR is tossed?

    Does the Legislature have the will/desire to increase spending/taxation at a rapid clip?

    I know that machinations would change, but as a taxpayer I wonder what would change for me.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      expenditures would likely increase overall, as well as the variety of revenue sources (taxes, user fees, etc.) necessary to support those increased expenditures.  Those decisions, however, would be made by our elected representatives (and not some crank with a ratcheting formula and a shrink-gummit’-regardless agenda) who would have to answer to the electorate for their decisions.

      We’d likely have higher expenditures with more public investment in infrastructure and education.  

      We would still have the requirement to balance the budget each that’s in the State constitution.  So, we won’t become California — although this state could really benefit from a nice ocean and some decent beaches, IMHO.

    • dmindgo says:

      hey, I argued with a group that we should pursue overturning TABOR.  They looked at me like I was crazy.  Not arguing with the crazy part, but it does feel good to know it was a real possibility to pursue.

      Anyway, I agree about liking some parts of TABOR.  Specifically, I would prefer to see a clean amendment made that requires public votes  before any increase (or decrease) in tax RATES or issuance of bonds.  TABOR had a whole bunch of other, nasty stuff in it that wasn’t very obvious.  I suppose this case, though, would throw out the whole idea of approval being required.  So where would the oversight come from then?  (And we need more than elections themselves)

      • faux_american says:

        I believe the single-subject requirement was passed more or less in response to TABOR. While I agree with the idea of single-subject, it also means you had to reform TABOR one piece at a time.  

    • ParkHill says:

      California was famous for having a well-funded university system, with inexpensive tuition that allowed middle-class students to graduate without huge student loans.

      After the anti-government/anti-tax movement got done with their referenda, the california tax base dropped like a rock.

      Those Darned Drunken Sailors, coming in to port and  Investing in Public Education.

  4. Albert J. Nock says:

    Oops this Democrat is confused.

    http://www.coloradoan.com/arti

  5. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    We know what’s best for you, and that’s higher taxes.

    Signed,

    The Colorado Democrat Party

    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      We know what’s best for you, and that’s a hamstrung form of representative government.

      Signed,

      TABOR zealots

    • raymond1 says:

      you know: “screw the voters, we know what’s best for you”

    • ParkHill says:

      Highways, schools, dams, bridges, universities, social security….

      And now you have cholera.

    • BlueCat says:

      You should understand that ArapG. It’s called a small r republican form of government and your party named itself after it.

      It wasn’t so many years back that whenever you said “democracy” in reference to this country, conservatives would jump up and down correcting the use of the term for our system, especially Mike Rosen.  He was always ranting about how we were a republic, not a democracy. George Will and every other conservative pundit did the same. The point they were always making was that our system was designed specifically not to be a direct democracy with mob rule by the great unwashed.  You sensed a real distaste for every expansion of the power of the majority from enfranchisement of non-landowners to the direct election of senators to rights for women and African Americans. You could feel them hoping for the smallest turn outs with as few of the riff raff voting as possible.

      Suddenly, with the advent of the anti-tax movement, direct democracy is your favorite thing. And you try to keep it rolling with the fiction that our problems all come from high taxes when in reality taxes are at historic lows, confident the  masses don’t know any better, sadly a correct assumption. Where we are is where your party’s policies since Reagan have led us and you blame Dems, with whom you won’t cooperate on anything, for failing to turn decades of crap into gold in a couple of years.

      The first thing we had to do about TABOR to keep the entire state from crumbling was to get 5 year time out. You must be so proud.

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