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Colorado Obsolete Constitutional Provisions, Referendum D (2002)

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The Colorado Obsolete Constitutional Provisions Referendum, also known as Referendum D, was on the November 5, 2002 ballot in Colorado as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure removed expired provisions for events that have already occurred; strikes an obsolete reference to legislative authority relating to courts; and removes a provision found unconstitutional by the Colorado Supreme Court.[1]

Election results

Colorado Referendum D (2002)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 899,914 71.89%
No351,88628.11%

Election results via: Colorado Secretary of State (P.144-155)

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1]

Amendments to articles VI, XVIII, XX, and XXVII of the constitution of the state of Colorado, concerning the repeal of certain obsolete provisions in the constitution of the state of Colorado.[2]

Background

The following background information was provided in the state Blue Book analysis of Referendum D:[3]

Expired provisions. The proposal removes four provisions related to the establishment of a statewide court system and judicial reform:

  1. a requirement that judges for the then newly created Denver juvenile and probate courts be elected at the 1964 General Election;
  2. a provision transferring cases from county courts to district courts, when district courts became courts of general jurisdiction effective January 1965;
  3. a provision that allows sitting judges in January 1967 to serve the remainder of their terms during the transition from elected to appointed judges; and
  4. language terminating the terms of office for sitting members of the Commission on Judicial Qualifications on July 1, 1983, when it was replaced by the Commission on Judicial Discipline.

The proposal removes two provisions relating to debt that has since been repaid:

  1. a reference to a 1991 state loan to the Limited Gaming Fund for the initial organizational and administrative expenses to establish gaming in Colorado; and
  2. a provision regarding the use of lottery proceeds collected from April 1, 1993, to June 30, 1998, for various capital construction projects that have been completed.

The proposal removes additional miscellaneous provisions:

  1. a 1902 provision regarding temporary officers for the newly established City and County of Denver; and
  2. provisions regarding annexation by Denver, Lakewood, or Aurora permitted between April 1, 1974, and December 20, 1974.

Obsolete reference to legislative authority. The proposal removes language from 1962 granting the state legislature the authority to provide simplified procedures in county courts for claims not exceeding $500. In 1964 and 1976, the state legislature passed laws directing the Judicial Branch to adopt procedures for these courts. The Supreme Court currently provides procedures for all claims filed in county courts and small claims courts.

Unconstitutional provision. The proposal removes a term-limits provision ruled unconstitutional by the Colorado Supreme Court in 1998. The provision directs state and congressional legislators to follow specific steps to amend the federal constitution to implement congressional term limits, and directs the state to note on the ballot which legislators failed to comply. The court found the provision violates the U.S. Constitution because it takes away the ability of state and congressional legislators to use their own judgment and, in effect, forces them to vote in a particular way.[2]

See also

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Colorado State Legislative Council, "Ballot History," accessed February 25, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  3. Colorado Elections Department, "Blue Book Analysis of 2002 ballot measures," accessed January 8, 2014