Arveschoug-Bird

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold presents the case for voting out four Colorado Supreme Court justices in Nov 2010 at Larimer County Republican Women’s dinner Tueday

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold is this month’s featured speaker at the Larimer County Republican Women’s dinner (Tuesday evening, January 19th) discussing the grassroots movement to restore accountability to the Colorado Supreme Court and bring back balance to the bench.

Learn more about the Mullarkey Court’s repeated assaults on the Colorado Constitution, the resulting impact to your wallet, the degradation or outright elimination of YOUR constitutional rights, and most importantly what you can do about it.

Enjoy a great dinner buffet, then sit back and learn more about how – and why –  you can and should exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on retaining the four unjust justices of the Mullarkey Majority (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to keep taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by abuse of eminent domain, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, not rule by activist, agenda-driven Colorado Supreme Court “justices.”  Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote on retaining unjust justices in 2010!

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold presents the case for voting out four Colorado Supreme Court justices in Nov 2010 at Broomfield Republican Women’s luncheon Monday

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold is this month’s featured speaker at the Broomfield Republican Women’s luncheon (Monday, January 18th) discussing the grassroots movement to restore accountability to the Colorado Supreme Court and bring back balance to the bench.

Enjoy a great luncheon, then sit back and learn more about the Mullarkey Court’s repeated assaults on the Colorado Constitution, the resulting impact to your wallet, the degradation or outright elimination of YOUR constitutional rights, and what you can do about it.

Learn more about how – and why –  you can and should exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on retaining the four unjust justices of the Mullarkey Majority (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to keep taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, not rule by activist, agenda-driven Colorado Supreme Court “justices.”  Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote on retaining unjust justices in 2010!

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold discusses drive to remove four Colorado Supreme Court justices on 850 KOA radio with Tom Tancredo Saturday evening

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold joined former Congressman Tom Tancredo on 850 KOA radio Saturday Jan. 16th to discuss the Colorado Supreme Court Mullarkey Majority’s repeated assaults on the constitutional rights of Colorado citizens, the resulting impact to your wallet, and (perhaps most importantly) what you can do about it

Listen to the podcast to learn more about how and why you should exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on retaining the four unjust justices of the Mullarkey Majority (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, not rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote on retaining these unjust justices in November 2010!

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold presents the case for voting out four Colorado Supreme Court justices in Nov 2010 at Election 2010 Kickoff event Saturday morning

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold kicks off the Election 2010 cycle by joining a veritable who’s who of Colorado political figures  between 9:30AM and 1PM Saturday Jan. 16th at Koelbel Library in Centennial (5955 South Holly Street) for the Election 2010 Kickoff event.

Join Matt and other prominent politicos at Saturday morning’s meeting to learn more about the Mullarkey Court’s repeated assaults on the Colorado Constitution, the resulting impact to your wallet, the degradation or outright elimination of YOUR constitutional rights, and what you can do about it.

Learn more about how – and why –  you can and should exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on retaining the four unjust justices of the Mullarkey Majority (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to keep taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, not rule by activist, agenda-driven Colorado Supreme Court “justices.”  Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote on retaining unjust justices in 2010!

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold discusses drive to remove four Colorado Supreme Court justices with former Fort Collins Major Ray Martinez on “Saturday’s Opinion” radio show

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold starts off the new year by joining former Fort Collins Mayor Ray Martinez on his “Saturday’s Opinion” radio show between noon and 2PM Saturday Jan. 2nd (tune in to 1310 AM KFKA or listen in live via streaming online) to discuss the Colorado Supreme Court Mullarkey Majority’s repeated assaults on the constitutional rights of Colorado citizens, the resulting impact to your wallet, and what you can do about it.  Call in to the show after the opening segment with your questions or comments at 970-353-1310 or 877-353-1310.

Tune in (and call in) to learn more about why you should exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on retaining the four unjust justices of the Mullarkey Majority (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, not rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your voice (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote on retaining these unjust justices in November 2010!

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold discusses recent Colorado Supreme Court rulings on “Seng Center” radio show

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold joins Jimmy Sengenberger on his “Seng Center” radio show Thursday at 6PM (KRCX 93.9 FM or online at regis.edu/krcx) to discuss the Mullarkey Court’s repeated assaults on the constitutional rights of Colorado citizens.

If you missed the broadcast, check out the podcasted show online – shows are posted every weekend at www.SengCenter.com

Tune in to learn more about why you should exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on retaining the four unjust justices of the Mullarkey Majority (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, not rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your voice (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote on retaining unjust justices in 2010!

Challenges to Campus Concealed-Carry Bans at CU, CSU will likely end up before Colorado Supreme Court

Friday’s vote by the CSU System Board to institute a “weapons control policy” on campus – essentially, implementing a ban on legal concealed carry of firearms by licensed permit-holders – joins a similar ban by the University of Colorado Board of Regents as policies virtually certain to be legally challenged and ultimately decided by the Colorado Supreme Court.

The CU Regents ban on responsible and licensed concealed-carry has already been challenged by students from different CU campuses; although a lower court judge dismissed the case on a technicality, it is now winding its way through the appeals process, and will almost certainly end up before the Colorado Supreme Court for a final decision.

The CSU ban stands on even shakier legal grounds than the CU ban – which has survived so far solely on the basis of the University of Colorado’s unique charter in which the General Assembly granted its ELECTED Board of Regents autonomous authority over all operations of CU’s campuses.  (CSU does NOT enjoy a similar “special” status).  Any legal challenge to the CSU ban has strong legal merit based on the clear letter and intent of the statute authorizing statewide standards and universal application for concealed-carry permits:

18-12-214. Authority granted by permit – carrying restrictions.

  (1) (a) A permit to carry a concealed handgun authorizes the permittee to carry a concealed handgun in all areas of the state, except as specifically limited in this section. …  A local government does not have authority to adopt or enforce an ordinance or resolution that would conflict with any provision of this part. (emphasis added)

The ONLY hope for this clearly unconstitutional ban to withstand the inevitable legal challenge – and the ongoing legal challenge to the CU ban – is if the Colorado Supreme Court refuses to follow the law (certainly not impossible, given the predilections of the Mullarkey Majority which dominates the 7-member court).

Fortunately, friends of liberty and the constitutional right to keep and bear arms can “head ‘em off at the pass” in November 2010 by voting to REMOVE FOUR of the most anti-constitutional justices on the Colorado Supreme Court (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) BEFORE the challenge comes to a final resolution before the court.

Freedom isn’t Free – Defend YOUR Constitution, and exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on retaining the four unjust justices of the Mullarkey Majority (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, not rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote on retaining these unjust justices in 2010!

Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey to pick commissioner to rewrite Colorado Constitution?

So much for constitutionally mandated separation of powers and “checks and balances…”

A recent editorial on the Colorado Legislature’s “Long Term Fiscal Stability Commission” (a 16-member group dominated by big-government advocates thinly disguising yet another attempt to eviscerate – or outright eliminate – the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, TABOR) brought to light a troubling attempt to bypass the rules which normally apply to amending the Colorado Constitution:

Along a party line vote, the commission invented a third way to amend the Colorado constitution.

Assuming the 2010 General Assembly passes the legislation, Colorado voters would decide a measure to create a 19-member commission to address fiscal policy, defined as expenditures and revenue only, in the state constitution and submit one or more proposals to voters in 2012. The commission would have direct access to the ballot without signatures, and any measures it may propose would be exempt from the single-subject rule.

Commission members will be appointed, with six from the Governor, three from the senate president, three from the senate minority leader, three from the speaker of the house, three from the house minority leader, and one from the chief justice of the state supreme court.

This idea is troubling for several reasons. First, the makeup of the commission includes an appointment from the chief justice of the state supreme court, which seems to cross the line of separation of powers. Two, the legislature hand picks commissioners who are unelected and unaccountable to voters. Third, the commission has the authority to bypass citizens and single-subject requirements.

It’s bad enough that the Mullarkey Majority on the Colorado Supreme Court frequently takes the opportunity to re-write the Colorado Constitution by creatively re-defining terms (such as “General Assembly“, “tax policy change“, or “fees” vs. “taxes”)  in ruling on cases brought to the court for a decision – but allowing the Chief Justice to hand-pick someone to re-write the Constitution directly?  That IS “troubling.”

The Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice already wields enormous power (not even counting several recent power grabs and usurpations of legislative authority), both directly (from the bench) and indirectly through powers of appointment – most prominently, appointing FOUR (of a total eleven) members of the Reapportionment Commission which will re-draw Colorado legislative district boundaries following the 2010 Census.

The current Chief Justice (Mary Mullarkey) has repeatedly shown that she cannot be trusted to fairly and impartially wield such power.  Her opinions and rulings have arrogantly substituted a personal agenda instead of following the Constitution; she has been actively and unrelentingly hostile to TABOR (the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights – Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution that she is sworn to uphold).

“TABOR… is the only line of defense between working families’ wallets and a massive increase in government spending…  Allowing citizens to vote on how much government they want and how much they are willing to pay for it” is the core of TABOR, without which those in government - such as the unjust justices of the Mullarkey Majority – would recognize NO LIMITS on their power and authority to take whatever they want, in pursuit of whatever goals they want; with YOUR money.

Freedom isn’t Free – Defend YOUR Constitution, and exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on retaining the four unjust justices of the Mullarkey Majority (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, not rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote on retaining these unjust justices in 2010!

Colorado Supreme Court “Mill Levy Tax Freeze” ruling back in the news as lawmakers take aim at “What’s in YOUR wallet”

As the Colorado Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee meets this week to “review agency budgets in advance of the 2010 General Assembly” (and you thought your wallet and property were only at risk while the legislature is IN session), last year’s Colorado Supreme Court ruling upholding the blatantly unconstitutional “Mill Levy Tax Freeze” is back in the news:

In 2010, the JBC will consider both budget and tax policy — the latter a result of the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision last year in Mesa County Bd. of County Comm’rs v. State of Colorado.
Because of the opinion, which redefined the phrase “tax policy change,” state lawmakers are now free to increase state revenue by more than $2 billion by repealing tax credits and exemptions most had considered untouchable under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR. It’s expected that the JBC will play a leading role in which corporate- and sales-tax exemptions to keep and which to kill. (Related reading: A Chink In TABOR’s Armor: Mill-Levy Ruling Reverberates Widely)

As Clear The Bench Colorado has noted for months, the Colorado Supreme Court ruling did more than just lock in an upwards ratchet on property taxes with the “Mill Levy Tax Freeze” ruling – it also opened the door to millions – even billions – in new taxes on the hard-pressed citizens of Colorado by eliminating long-standing constitutional protections for a long list of existing tax credits and exemptions, allowing the legislature to impose what are in effect substantial new taxes without a vote of the people, as has been required under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, or TABOR.

Just for “fun” – try the “New Tax Lottery” – brought to you courtesy of the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling upholding “Backdoor Bill” Ritter’s “Mill Levy Tax Freeze”. (View the list, then take the survey).

Outraged?  You should be – and the Mullarkey Majority on the Colorado Supreme Court is primarily to blame, for blatantly disregarding constitutional limits and undermining the rule of law.

Fortunately, in the coming election year (November 2010), We The People have a constitutional remedy already in place: exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on retaining the four unjust justices of the Mullarkey Majority (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey herself).  They need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy rights and benefits of the rule of law, not rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.” DON’T GIVE IT TO THEM!  Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote as these unjust justices stand for retention in Nov. 2010!

Colorado Supreme Court should also show “respect for voters and the Colorado Constitution”

In today’s (Wednesday) Denver Post, editor/columnist Vincent Carroll, while taking Scott McInnis to task for “budgetary vagueness” in the ‘Platform for Prosperity’ and other campaign statements to date, lauded the platform (aka ‘Contract for Colorado’) for adherence to constitutional principles:

The best thing about Scott McInnis’ new “Platform for Prosperity” is that it shows a respect for voters and the Colorado Constitution. That alone is cause for celebration, given the serial disregard for voters’ rights and constitutional language during the past three years.

The voters of Colorado certainly have a right to expect that their officials – elected OR appointed – demonstrate respect for their rights and for the Colorado Constitution.  As Carroll points out, those rights – such as the right to vote on tax increases, guaranteed under TABOR – have been increasingly undermined (if not downright ignored) by all branches of Colorado government over the last several years.

In other words, no more end runs around the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights to hike property taxes by the trick of freezing mill levies rather than allowing them to decline. No more plans to raise $130 million by lifting long-established tax exemptions while ignoring the TABOR requirement that any “tax policy change directly causing a net tax revenue gain” must go to a popular vote.

And no more repealing spending caps for the general fund without asking voters for permission, as TABOR demands.

What Carroll does not mention – at least, not explicitly – is the fact that these “end runs around the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights” were ONLY able to occur with the active involvement of the ruling majority on the Colorado Supreme Court.  Lower courts had held – properly – that the “Mill Levy Tax Freeze” was clearly unconstitutional.   That would have stopped the “end run” around TABOR in its tracks – but for the complicit (and politically motivated) action of the Mullarkey Majority to overturn the lower court, in clear and blatant disregard of the Colorado Constitution.

The Mullarkey Court also added insult to injury by inventing a rationale to eliminate constitutional protections for “long-established tax exemptions” in that same case – an insult all the more egregious because those tax exemptions were not even at issue in the case, and were only added to the ruling – a major breach of judicial practice by an appellate court – because an activist majority wanted to push its own agenda in further undermining TABOR.

The repeal of the Arveschoug-Bird 6% limit on growth of government spending – previously held to have been incorporated under TABOR – by the legislature with Senate Bill 228 was also “aided and abetted” by the Mullarkey Court.  Since the unconstitutional nature of the repeal (and thus SB228) was clearly established by years of legal commentary and precedent, in a rational universe, the bill would have been challenged and overturned.  However, a legislature emboldened by the Mullarkey Majority’s clear bias against TABOR – no mere statute, but part of the Colorado Constitution – felt no qualms in ramming through a clearly unconstitutional bill, and the opposition (in the legislature and otherwise) saw no prospects for a successful legal challenge.  The fix was in – it was clear that the ruling majority on the Colorado Supreme Court would NOT uphold the Constitution, and the rule of law, despite their sworn duty to do so.  Like the dog that did not bark in the night, the “case that never was” sealed the doom of this legal limit on the growth of general fund spending.

Carroll continues:

If TABOR can be defied any time an attorney offers an inventive rationale, what’s to prevent public officials from ignoring other inconvenient amendments?

What, indeed?  If the Colorado Constitution means whatever a majority on the Colorado Supreme Court says it means on any given day, why bother to have a Constitution at all?  For that matter, why bother to have any rules; just let decisions be made by rulers.  Oh wait; 200-odd years ago, we had just that; but we called them “Kings” and “Queens,” instead of “Supreme Court Justices.”

Our founding fathers established something unique, something very special, when they replaced the divine right of kings – rule unchallenged by constitutional constraints – with constitutional, limited government: the rule of law, not the arbitrary and capricious rule of men (or in this case, women).  “What kind of government have you given us?”, Benjamin Franklin was famously asked on exiting the Constitutional Convention.  “A Republic, if you can keep it”, he replied.

We The People must again stand up in defense of our Constitution – in defense of our rights as citizens – in order to keep our Republic.  We must throw off those who would re-institute a rule of our “betters” – be they termed Kings, Queens, or Supreme Court “Justices.”

Freedom isn’t Free – Defend YOUR Constitution, and exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on retaining the four unjust justices of the Mullarkey Majority (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey).  They need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, not rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.” DON’T GIVE IT TO THEM!  Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote on these unjust justices in Nov. 2010!

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