Court Drops Some Plaintiffs From Suit Over Tax Limiting Law

June 3, 2016

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that some people challenging Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights lack the standing to do so. Nonetheless, that challenge will proceed.

Four state lawmakers were among the plaintiffs that sued to overturn TABOR.  They argued that its provision requiring a vote of the people for any tax increase removed their constitutional authority as legislators. 

After some legal twists and turns the appeals court found that the four state lawmakers don’t have standing in the case, ruling they are not individually harmed by TABOR and can’t speak for the whole General Assembly. 

Attorney General Cynthia Coffman claimed a major victory. "I hope this decisive win will convince TABOR's opponents that the courts are not the place to pursue their political agenda," she said in a statement.

But one lawyer who brought the suit say there are still many plaintiffs left in the case, including school board members and other local officials.  

“I certainly don’t begrudge the Attorney General for claiming victory in this very narrow issue on a preliminary matter, but I think there is still a lot of legal thinking, legal arguments, and ultimately a determination of the merits of the case that are really in the interest of everyone in the state to follow through with," said Mike Feeley, an attorney with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.

The major looming question now for lower courts is whether the remaining plaintiffs have standing.

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