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”
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”
“Act like a lady,” Denver police officers told Colorado journalist Susan Greene as they roughly and unlawfully handcuffed and detained her for exercising her First Amendment rights. Continue reading “Colorado Journalist Unlawfully Detained by Denver Police Engages Top Law Firm”
I have sent (via email) the survey below to the campaigns of both Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton, the 2018 Democratic and Republican candidates (respectively) for governor of Colorado. Continue reading “Colorado Governor Candidate Survey”
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”
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?”
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”
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”
Five of nine members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation (counting Senators) have condemned the U.S. policy of separating migrant families at the border. These are Senator Michael Bennet and Representatives Mike Coffman, Ed Perlmutter, Jared Polis, and Diana DeGette. Continue reading “Where Colorado’s Congressional Delegation Stands on the Separation of Migrant Families”
My biggest fear about Colorado elections this year is that we’ll end up with single-party governance by the Democrats. If that happens, we will almost certainly end up with new taxes and more badly written anti-gun laws, just like we did last time the Democrats dominated state government. We’ll also end up with aggressive and costly energy policies and economic regulations. Continue reading “Reflections on Colorado’s Primary Elections”