- The Washington Times - Monday, June 12, 2006

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a proposal to deny most state services to illegal aliens cannot appear on the November ballot.

The proposed constitutional amendment, promoted by Defend Colorado Now, violated a state constitutional requirement that initiatives deal with only one subject, the court said in a 5-2 opinion.

According to the ruling, Defend Colorado Now touted the possibility of reducing taxpayer expenditures by restricting illegal aliens’ access to services.

Proponents, including former Democratic Gov. Dick Lamm, already had begun gathering petition signatures to get the measure on the ballot, and the state Title Board approved the measure’s language this spring. But yesterday’s ruling may mean that the issue is dead for this year because a key deadline for the November ballot has passed.

“This is outrageous judicial activism, Exhibit A in how courts disregard precedent to reach a political result,” Mr. Lamm said in a statement. “This isn’t law, it is raw, naked politics.”

Activist Manolo Gonzalez-Estay had challenged the measure in court after the Title Board rejected his request to reconsider its approval of the initiative’s language.

The measure would not stop the state from paying for federally mandated services, such as public education or emergency medical care. But proponents of the amendment have said it would prevent illegal aliens from receiving welfare and in-state college tuition.

In a dissent, Justices Nathan Coats and Nancy Rice expressed concern that the court’s majority decision was influenced by the motives of the measure’s proponents and by its potential effects.

They said the court inconsistently has applied the single-subject requirement, giving justices “unfettered discretion to either approve or disapprove virtually any popularly initiated ballot measure at will.”

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