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Old 08-16-2016, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,530 posts, read 10,200,595 times
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Full disclosure - I like direct democracy. When it's used wisely I think it can be another check on a deaf legislature. Over the last 25 years, though, partisan interests have used this process as an end-around to create law because they know whatever they're trying to accomplish won't pass legislative muster.

It's far too easy to amend the state constitution. All you need to do to get an initiative on the ballot is collect 98,492 valid signatures from anywhere in the state. This is why paid signature gatherers hang around places like Front Range Wal-Marts on the weekends.

Once on the ballot the initiative only needs 50% + 1 vote to become law.

Amendment 71 makes the signature collection process more onerous. Entities wishing to place an initiative on the ballot will be required to gather signatures from 2% of the registered voters of each state senate district. If this passes they won't be able to cornhole rural Colorado by parking their petitions on the Front Range.

Amendment 71 also changes the voting requirements for ballot initiatives. In order to become law the initiative will need a minimum of 55% of the vote.

It's a no brainer, really. If you want to amend the constitution you should be required to sell it to everyone in the state.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:45 PM
 
20,842 posts, read 39,064,756 times
Reputation: 19075
I favor doing totally away with "government by referendum" as it's just another version of the "Tyranny of the Majority," as it's known.

Best example is the old Jim Crow laws in the south where the white majority forced its unconstitutional will upon the black minority....until the Supreme Court struck them all down. Even in Colorado there was the infamous 1992 Amendment 2 that prevented any Colorado jurisdiction from recognizing GLBT community as a protected class. It was struck down in 1996 by the SCOTUS.

We elect "leaders" to make tough decisions that are constitutional, but the referendum process allows for bad idea to become law in COLO and open Pandora's Box.
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:35 AM
 
92 posts, read 75,567 times
Reputation: 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
I favor doing totally away with "government by referendum" as it's just another version of the "Tyranny of the Majority," as it's known.

Best example is the old Jim Crow laws in the south where the white majority forced its unconstitutional will upon the black minority....until the Supreme Court struck them all down. Even in Colorado there was the infamous 1992 Amendment 2 that prevented any Colorado jurisdiction from recognizing GLBT community as a protected class. It was struck down in 1996 by the SCOTUS.

We elect "leaders" to make tough decisions that are constitutional, but the referendum process allows for bad idea to become law in COLO and open Pandora's Box.
Obviously it doesn't if the laws can be struck down as unconstitutional by either the Colorado or US Supreme Courts.

I think the amendment process or some for in which legislation can be enacted by the people should remain. Amendment 64 is a perfect example of our 'representatives' refusing to represent us. The two party system is broken. I doubt many feel like Clinton or Trump are a good representation of their views.
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:57 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,905 posts, read 6,501,326 times
Reputation: 7355
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkbill View Post
Obviously it doesn't if the laws can be struck down as unconstitutional by either the Colorado or US Supreme Courts.

I think the amendment process or some for in which legislation can be enacted by the people should remain. Amendment 64 is a perfect example of our 'representatives' refusing to represent us. The two party system is broken. I doubt many feel like Clinton or Trump are a good representation of their views.
The state supreme court cannot stike down a constitutional amendment. It is by definition "constitutional".
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:20 AM
 
92 posts, read 75,567 times
Reputation: 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDog77 View Post
The state supreme court cannot stike down a constitutional amendment. It is by definition "constitutional".
It appears they can. Colorado Supreme Court spikes ballot initiative on legislative, congressional boundaries
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Old 08-17-2016, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,905 posts, read 6,501,326 times
Reputation: 7355
Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkbill View Post
No. In that situation they shot down a ballot initiative from being allowed to be up for a vote because it was trying to make 3 changes to state law in a single amendment when state law requires that each change requires its own vote.

In other words, they weren't ruling on the constitutionality of the initiative itself, just how it was structured. Had the backers put the changes in the ballot individually, the court could not have done a thing.

What I was saying above though is that once an amendment to the state constitution is passed (very different than what you posted), the court can't rule on its constitutionality. It would need to go to the federal court system at that point. I could have been more clear I guess and instead said that the state Supreme Court cannot strike down a passed constitutional amendment.

Last edited by SkyDog77; 08-17-2016 at 10:55 AM..
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