Joining the efforts of National Federation of Independent Business, National Taxpayers Union (NTU) signed onto an amicus brief in Kerr v. Hickenlooper, a case on remand before the Tenth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals addressing the constitutionality of Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (“TABOR”) and of all state constitutional restrictions on state legislative powers. TABOR, an amendment to the Colorado Constitution passed in 1992 by the citizens of the state, prohibits the state legislature from increasing taxes and spending above the rate of inflation without voter approval The plaintiffs in the case, led by current and former Colorado legislators, sued to overturn TABOR claiming that the amendment interfered with the Colorado Legislature’s constitutional voting abilities and thus violated the Guarantee Clause of the United States Constitution, which mandates that every state have a republican form of government.
However, in the recent case of Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the United States Supreme Court affirmed that citizens hold the power to limit their state’s legislators if they choose, as is the case in Kerr v. Hickenlooper. In light of its ruling in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, the United States Supreme Curt ordered the Tenth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals to reconsider its initial decision in Kerr v. Hickenlooper.
“The animating principle of our Constitution is that the people themselves are the originating source of all the powers of government,” wrote Justice Ginsburg in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. This statement holds true in Kerr v. Hickenlooper, and NTU is proud to support hardworking taxpayers of Colorado in their effort to check the growth of government in the Centennial State.