Will Libertarians Hand the Colorado Senate to the Democrats?

Update, November 10, 2018: Never mind! Democrats crushed Republicans so badly this year that no Libertarian candidate came close to being a “spoiler.” But I anticipate that the Republican Party will do better in the future, so the problem described here remains. In terms of approval voting, I support that regardless of how frequently minor-party candidates “spoil” a race.

By running candidates in several of the most-competitive Colorado Senate races, Libertarians substantially increase the odds of Democrats seizing the reins of state government and passing numerous bills that Libertarians (as well as Republicans) are sure to hate. Continue reading “Will Libertarians Hand the Colorado Senate to the Democrats?”

Why the Discrimination of Y and Z Matters

Colorado ballot measures Y and Z are legally and morally wrong because they blatantly discriminate against members of minor parties by excluding them from proposed redistricting commissions.

I have written about this problem before, but here I want to address more fully the claim that Y and Z are not really (or not substantially) more discriminatory than the status quo. Continue reading “Why the Discrimination of Y and Z Matters”

Overbroad Amendment 74 Could Bring Litigation Catastrophe to Colorado

When I first heard about it, I thought the Colorado ballot measure Amendment 74 was a slam-dunk. That government can reduce or destroy the value of your property by prohibiting you from developing it is profoundly unjust (excepting cases where a property use would violate others’ rights). I would welcome well-crafted reforms to prevent (or at least to require government to compensate) such “regulatory takings.” But the stupidly drafted Amendment 74 is a cure far worse than the disease—if interpreted broadly by the courts, it could spell catastrophe for economic activity and governance in Colorado. Continue reading “Overbroad Amendment 74 Could Bring Litigation Catastrophe to Colorado”

Reflections on the Discriminatory Ballot Measures Y and Z

Amendments Y and Z on the Colorado ballot this Fall seek to end gerrymandering by putting Congressional and legislative redistricting processes in the hands of independent commissions. So far, so good. The problem with the measures is that they discriminate against members of minor parties by totally excluding them from the proposed commissions. Continue reading “Reflections on the Discriminatory Ballot Measures Y and Z”

Add More States to Make the U.S. More Democratic

Split up the most-populated states. Do it for democracy.

I am not a democrat in the narrow sense. I see no magical properties in the “will” of fifty-percent-plus-one of some (arbitrarily defined) population as determined by some (arbitrarily established) voting mechanism such that the majority should be able to rule it over the minority. Continue reading “Add More States to Make the U.S. More Democratic”

Are Police above the Law?

Imagine what would happen to you as a regular citizen in the following circumstances. You do not like a woman photographing a public incident, so you demand that she stop. When she declines to stop, you grab her arm and twist it, physically restrain her, and forcibly put her into the back of a car.

Assuming a police officer witnessed the event or arrived at the scene after the fact, we all know what would happen to you as a regular citizen. You would be arrested and charged with multiple crimes. Continue reading “Are Police above the Law?”

How Interstate Sales Taxes Violate Core Principles of Legal Justice

The Supreme Court is right about one thing: It is unfair of state and local governments to disadvantage local businesses by requiring them to collect sales taxes that out-of-state internet and mail-order businesses do not have to collect.

But the claim that states should therefore extend the pain to out-of-state business essentially argues that two wrongs make a right: that state and local governments should compensate by imposing similar—although in practice far more onerous—disadvantages on out-of-state businesses.

Consider other basic principles of legal justice violated by allowing state and local governments to force out-of-state businesses to collect sales taxes. Continue reading “How Interstate Sales Taxes Violate Core Principles of Legal Justice”

Joe Salazar and Mike Coffman Spar over Migrant Family Separations

The good news from the perspective of liberty and human decency is that major Colorado politicians are now fighting over who is doing the most to protect migrant families detained at the border.

Unfortunately, some of the details have gotten lost in the social media spats, so we should seek to clarify who has said and done what. Continue reading “Joe Salazar and Mike Coffman Spar over Migrant Family Separations”