06 November 2005

A New Constitution For Colorado?

Ed Quillen, a Denver Post columnist, has once again made a shrewd observation. Colorado's Constitution is long overdue for a bottom up overhaul. It probably won't happen, but our current document is a real mess. It is long and mostly contains stuff that doesn't need to be enshrined in the constitution, rather than mere state law. The table of contents reads:

Preamble (1 section)
I Boundaries (1 section)
II Bill of Rights (33 sections)
III Distribution of Powers (1 section)
IV Executive Department (23 sections)
V Legislative Department (53 sections)
VI Judicial Department (26 sections)
VII Suffrage and Elections (12 sections)
VIII State Institutions (5 sections)
IX Education (17 sections)
X Revenue (21 sections)
XI Public Indebtedness (10 sections)
XII Officers (15 sections)
XIII Impeachments (3 sections)
XIV Counties (20 sections)
XV Corporations (15 sections)
XVI Mining and Irrigation (8 sections)
XVII Militia (5 sections)
XVIII Miscellaneous (15 sections)
XIX Amendments (2 sections)
XX Home Rule Cities and Towns (13 sections)
XXI Recall from Office (4 sections)
XXII Intoxicating Liquors (1 section)
XXIII Publication of Legal Advertising (1 section)
XXIV Old Age Pensions (9 sections)
XXV Public Utilities (1 section)
XXVI Nuclear Detonations (5 sections)
XXVII Great Outdoors Colorado Program (11 sections)
XXVIII Campaign and Political Finance (14 sections)
Schedule (22 sections)

To start with, every article, with the exception of Article XIX (Amendments), after Article VII, ought to be dispensed with or converted into state law.

Also, while I am at it, I will note a particular egregious bit of intellectual property abuse in the State of Colorado from the Secretary of State's website:

Colorado Revised Statutes
Colorado Revised Statutes are made available for public use by the Committee on Legal Services of the Colorado General Assembly through a contractual arrangement with the LexisNexis Group which prepares and maintains the link below. The statutes are copyrighted by the state of Colorado (please see §2-5-115, C.R.S.). In addition, any person wishing to reprint and distribute all or a substantial part of the statutes in either printed or electronic format must obtain prior permission of the Committee on Legal Services; permission is not required to reprint fewer than 200 sections of C.R.S. (please see §2-5-118, C.R.S.).

What sort of totalitarian state is Colorado that it is a crime to distribute its laws to the people without state permission?

1 comment:

Off Colfax said...

Maybe it needs to be done, but I'll be damned if I can understand the current version enough to even think about volunteering for the task.