Colorado Supreme Court aids and abets Colorado Legislature assault on privacy via “unreasonable searches” of online sales

Clear The Bench Colorado was at the forefront of the opposition to the unconstitutional “Dirty Dozen” tax increases passed by the Colorado Legislature at the start of the session – testifying before the House and Senate Finance Committees that the tax increases were violations of the rights of Colorado citizens under the Taxpayers Bill of Rights to be consulted (by vote) before being subjected to more or higher taxes, despite an interpretation of the Colorado Supreme Court ruling in the “Mill Levy Tax Freeze” case that the requirement to ask first could be ignored.  In a typical example of Colorado Politics as usual, the Legislature ignored the constitutional objections and other testimony by Colorado citizens (appearing in large numbers) against the bills and hurriedly passed the new taxes into law (ramming them through SO quickly that many have already taken effect beginning March, instead of starting in July as per normal legislative practice).

Among the worst of these from a constitutional perspective was the so-called internet sales tax (or “Amazon Tax”) House Bill 10-1193: Sales Tax Out of State Retailers (Pommer/Heath) – which not only violates the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, but also the U.S. Constitution’s 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable searches & seizures, as Clear The Bench Colorado pointed out in testimony before the Colorado Senate Finance Committee prior to the bill’s passage into law:

This bill also presents a constitutional challenge of a different kind – issues of invasion of privacy. Collecting information on every online purchase of Colorado citizens in attempting to enforce this tax will justly provoke extreme outrage. It will also inevitably provoke a host of legal challenges based on 4th Amendment protections.

Amendment 4
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

We advised the committee that constitutional challenges to this law were practically inevitable, and stood a very good chance of success, even before the frequently anti-constitutional Colorado Supreme Court.  We also advised the committee that citizens would be justifiably outraged by the intrusion into their private affairs since the only way the state could hope to enforce the tax is by obtaining detailed lists of purchases Coloradans made and invading their privacy –  as the bill contains provisions to subpoena online retailers to receive lists of purchases made by Colorado citizens.

Recent news about a similar situation in North Carolina has highlighted the danger to personal privacy posed by the bill:

Prior to Colorado, the New York and North Carolina state legislatures passed an “Amazon tax”, ostensibly as an attempt to close budget holes. North Carolina then went on a fishing expedition looking for lost tax revenues from the past seven years. After receiving “voluminous information about nearly 50 million items sold to North Carolina customers, including order numbers; the city, county, and zip codes to which items were shipped; transaction dates and prices; and Amazon’s standard product code for the items,” now the Tar Heel state is asking Amazon for more personal information on all its customers.

More personal information… like what exactly?

The Internet retailer says the state’s Department of Revenue is demanding the name and address “of virtually every North Carolina resident who has purchased anything from Amazon since 2003, along with records of what each customer purchased and how much they paid.

Luckily for North Carolinians, Amazon is fighting that request in the courts.

Can we be confident that our own courts will defend our rights?  Not as long as the “Mullarkey Majority” rules the Colorado Supreme Court – since they were the ones who aided and abetted this assault on your rights in the first place!

Defend your rights while you still can – exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on the four ‘unjust justices’ of the Mullarkey Majority (Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, & Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away more of your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to be safe against unreasonable search & seizure by tax collectors, your right to defend your home or business against eminent domain abuse, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of rule by an oligarchy of activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Help to Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!) and your contributions – and vote “NO” on retaining these unjust justices in the November elections!

One Response to Colorado Supreme Court aids and abets Colorado Legislature assault on privacy via “unreasonable searches” of online sales

  • Joel Ploegstra says:

    Go get the dirty &^%#ards! Isn’t it always funny how the tax payers are smart enough to know who to vote in, but once in office they believe we haven’t a clue?
    I will vote in opposition to them all, and to all the Dems who forced us into the unlawful health care scam they passed!!

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