Let’s face facts: In 2016, new amendments to Colorado’s state constitution are more likely to diminish our rights than to protect them.
So the more I hear arguments about Amendment 71, the more I’m convinced that we need to vote yes to “Raise the Bar” to make it harder to amend our state constitution.
Colorado’s bill of rights covers the essentials: inalienable rights to life, property and pursuit of happiness; free exercise of religion; freedom of speech and of the press; right to bear arms; no taking of private property without just compensation; security from unreasonable search and seizure.
However, the Colorado constitution lacks the checks and balances of the U.S. Constitution, which can be amended only by supermajorities — a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and ratification by three-fourths of the States.
The U.S. Constitution purposefully requires consensus and deliberation and discourages impulsiveness in order to protect our rights.
Colorado’s constitutional process is a product of the Progressive Era, which viewed the U.S. Constitution as outdated, so Colorado voters in 1910 approved a new process of citizen-initiated amendments: one vote, one time. This is a tool for impulsiveness.Read More