Articles Posted in Colorado Supreme Court

by
Petitioners Scott Smith and D. Michael Kopp, both registered electors, appealed the actions of the Ballot Title Setting Board (“Title Board”) regarding the setting of the title and ballot title and submission clause for Proposed Initiative 2017–2018 #4 (“Initiative #4”). Issues for the Colorado Supreme Court’s review were: (1) Initiative #4 contained a single subject; and (2) whether the Supreme Court had authority to review an abstract prepared and submitted to the Title Board as required by section 1-40-105.5, C.R.S. (2016). The Court concluded: (1) the initiative indeed contained a single subject (the limitation of housing growth in Colorado); and (2) section 1-40-107 authorized the Court to review such an abstract. View "In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title and Submission Clause for 2017" on Justia Law

by
Petitioner Donna Johnson challenged the Ballot Title Board's decision to set the title, ballot title and submission clause for Initiatives 2015-2016 #132 and 133, contending that the titles did not satisfy the clear title requirement and they did not contain a single subject. If passed, the Initiatives, substantially similar in language and form, represented two of several redistricting concepts proposed by the Proponents during the 2016 election cycle. Both Initiatives would have amended article V, section 44 through 48 of the Colorado Constitution by restructuring or replacing the Colorado Reapportionment Commission. After review, the Colorado Supreme Court concluded that both of the proposed Initiatives encompassed multiple subjects in violation of Colorado law. Accordingly, the Court reversed the Title Board and remanded for revision. View "In re Title, Ballot Title & Submission Clause for 2015-2016 #132 & #133" on Justia Law

by
Petitioner John Robinson challenged the Ballot Title Board's decision to set the title, ballot title and submission clause for Initiative 2015-2016 #156, contending that the title did not satisfy the clear title requirement and it did not contain a single subject. If passed, Initiative #156 would have added a new section to the Colorado Revised Statutes prohibiting state and local licensing authorities from issuing "a license to food store that offers for sale, in sealed containers for off-premises consumption," certain "intoxicants, namely marijuana, marijuana product, liquor, wine and malt liquor. After review, the Colorado Supreme Court concluded the title indeed violated the clear title requirement because it was confusing and failed to help voters decipher the purpose of the initiative, or to help voters decide whether to support or oppose it. Accordingly, the Court reversed the Title Board's setting of title for Initiative #156, and returned it to the Board for revision. View "In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title & Submission Clause for 2015-2016 Initiative #156" on Justia Law

by
On October 27, 2015,one week before the November 3 regular biennial school board election for Mesa County Valley School District 51, three registered electors of the school district, Kent Carson, James “Gil” Tisue, and Dale Pass, filed a verified petition with the district court, challenging as wrongful the certification of one of the candidates. Carson and two other electors of Mesa County Valley School District 51 sought certiorari review of the district court’s order denying their requested relief concerning a school board election. After review, the Supreme Court found that C.R.S. section 1-1-113(1) did not permit a challenge to an election official’s certification of a candidate to the ballot, solely on the basis of the certified candidate’s qualification, once the period permitted by section 1-4-501(3), C.R.S. (2015), for challenging the qualification of the candidate directly has expired. Therefore the district court's ruling was affirmed. View "Carson v. Reiner" on Justia Law

by
Initiative #63 would establish a right to a healthy environment in Colorado by amending the state Constitution. Petitioners argued the text of the Initiative filed a motion to the Title Board, arguing the Initiative as written was misleading and contained multiple subjects. The Supreme Court reviewed the Title Board's action setting the title, ballot title and submission clause for the Initiative, and concluded that the Initiative contained a single subject, and that the title clearly expressed the subject and was not misleading. View "In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title and Submission Clause for 2015" on Justia Law

by
Proponents Mike Spalding and David Ottke proposed Initiative #73, which would amend article XXI of the Colorado Constitution to change the procedures leading to and the conduct of recall elections for state and local elective officials. A review and comment hearing was held before representatives of the Offices of Legislative Counsel and Legislative Legal Services. Thereafter, the proponents submitted a final version of their proposed initiative to the Secretary of State for purposes of submission to the Title Board. The Title Board conducted a hearing, concluded that the proposed initiative contained a single subject, and set a title. Petitioner Phillip Hayes filed a motion for rehearing, contending that the title comprised multiple subjects and was misleading, confusing, and inaccurate. Hayes petitioned the Colorado Supreme Court for review The Supreme Court concluded that Initiative #73 contained one subject, namely, the manner in which recall elections are triggered and conducted; however, the title set by the Title Board did not satisfy the clear title requirement because it did not alert voters to central elements of the initiative; it was misleading as to other elements; and, as all parties agreed, it unnecessarily recited existing law. Accordingly, the Supreme Court reversed the Title Board and returned this measure to the Board to fix a new title. View "In the Matter of the Title, Ballot Title and Submission Clause for 2015-2016 #73" on Justia Law

by
In 2007, Petitioners Curtis Vagneur and Jeffrey Evans submitted two initiative petitions to the Aspen City Clerk regarding the highway entrance to Aspen. Respondents Les Holst, Clifford Weiss, and Terry Paulson filed objections to the petitions. Following a hearing, an administrative hearing officer determined that the proposed initiatives sought to ask electors of Aspen to vote on a change on use of open space to authorize a different entrance to Aspen, to mandate design specifics for that roadway, and to mandate the amendment or rescinding of existing documents previously authorized by the City Council that conflicted with conditions of the proposed roadway. The hearing officer concluded that the initiatives were "improper subjects of the initiative process." The issue before the Supreme Court was whether the initiatives were administrative in nature, and therefore outside the initiative process. The Court concluded that the proposed initiatives were indeed administrative in nature and were therefore not a proper exercise of the people's initiative power. The Court affirmed the hearing officer and the court of appeals. View "Vagneur v. City of Aspen" on Justia Law

by
The issue before the Supreme Court in these consolidated cases concerned the actions of the title setting board (Title Board) in setting the titles and ballot titles and submission clauses (or titles) in two groups of initiatives. In case 12SA117, Petitioner Philip Hayes challenged the Title Board's title setting for Initiatives 2011-2012, Numbers 67, 68 and 69. Respondents David Ottke and John Slota were the designated representatives for those proposed initiatives. If adopted, the initiatives would alter how the General Assembly amended or repealed citizen-initiated statutes. In Case 12SA130, Petitioners Barbara Walker and Don Childears challenged the Title Board's title setting for Initiative 201-2012 Number 94 and 95. Respondents Earl Staelin and Robert Bows were the designated representatives. If adopted, Initiative 94 would have amended the Colorado constitution to allow political subdivisions to establish and operate banks; Initiative 95 would have allowed the State to open and operate its own bank. The common threshold question before the Supreme Court in this appeal was whether the Title Board had authority to act on motions for rehearing to address challenges to the titles previously set, where fewer than both of the designated representatives of the initiative's proponents appeared at the rehearing. Finding no statutory authority that conferred such authority to the Title Board, the Supreme Court reversed the actions of the Title Board and returned the measures to the Title Board for further proceedings. View "Hayes v. Ottke" on Justia Law

by
In an original proceeding, the Supreme Court reviewed the Ballot Title Setting Board's findings that proposed Initiative 2011-2012 No. 45, its title, and its ballot title and submission clause contained a single subject. Upon review, the Court held that the Title Board was correct: Initiative 45 and its Titles stated a single subject: "public control of waters." The Court concluded this title complied with article V section 1(5.5) of the Colorado Constitution and section 1-40-106.5, C.R.S. (2011). View "In the Matter of the Ballot Title & Submission Clause for 2011-2012 No. 45" on Justia Law

by
In an original proceeding, the Supreme Court reviewed the Ballot Title Setting Board's findings that proposed Initiative 2011-2012 No. 3, its title, and its ballot title and submission clause contained a single subject. Upon review, the Court held that the Title Board was correct: Initiative 3 and its Titles stated a single subject: "the public's rights in the waters of natural streams." The Court concluded this title complied with article V section 1(5.5) of the Colorado Constitution and section 1-40-106.5, C.R.S. (2011). View "In the Matter of the Ballot Title & Submission Clause for 2011-2012 No. 3" on Justia Law