Constitutional Stability on the Rockies
In the legislative Man Bites Dog story of the day, Colorado state legislators are examining bills that would make it harder for voters to change ...
In the legislative Man Bites Dog story of the day, Colorado state legislators are examining bills that would make it harder for voters to change the state's constitution. As it stands, Colorado allows a constitutional amendment after a relatively easy petition-initiative process that has made for 23 amendments in the last decade alone [insert joke about French periodicals].
Attorney General John Suthers says (rightly, to my mind) that the constitution is for "general principles that govern sovereignty." Stability is the game when it comes to constitutions. Add in voters who might sometimes take a short-sighted view of the long-term effects, and easy amendments can make a mess.
The catalyst for the legislative shift is a recently passed ethics amendment that is chafing state employees. So the legislators are offering a popular referendum to stiffen the constitution while the iron is hot. Of course, such a change would necessarily make the legislature itself stronger. Hard to tell which is pricklier: a shapeshifting constitution or legislators giving themselves more power?
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
How States' Recent Job Growth Compares9 hours ago
Making Government Interaction Fun9 hours ago
The Week in Public Finance: Expensive Retirees, State Spending Redux and Following the Rules14 hours ago
Twin Cities Archdiocese May File for Bankruptcy15 hours ago
South Carolina Issues Marriage Licenses to Same-Sex Couples15 hours ago
How San Francisco Civil Disobedience Led to Obama Immigration Action15 hours ago