Court Shuts Down Douglas Bruce’s Latest Attempt To Appeal Conviction

<p>Nathaniel Minor/CPR News</p>
<p>Douglas Bruce is the father of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.</p>
Photo: Taxman Chapter 3, Pic 4 | Doug Bruce - NMinor
Douglas Bruce is the father of Colorado’s Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

Posted Jan. 11 2:20 p.m. | Updated Jan. 12 8: 15 a.m.

A U.S. Court of Appeals judge on Thursday turned down anti-tax activist Douglas Bruce’s efforts to appeal his conviction for tax evasion.

Bruce is currently on parole after he was convicted in 2011 of three felonies, including tax evasion. He’s well known in Colorado for being the author of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, as well as for his time in the state legislature and in local politics in Colorado Springs.

He’s been trying to have his conviction vacated, as he told CPR News last year for the Taxman podcast, because he’s lost his right to vote until he’s off parole.

“I’m not going to let them win,” Bruce said then. “I did nothing wrong, nothing wrong, nothing wrong.”

In June 2017, a U.S. District Court judge denied Bruce’s habeas corpus petition. And on Thursday, a U.S. Court of Appeals judge turned down Bruce’s effort to get legal standing to appeal that district court ruling.

“Because no reasonable jurist could debate the district court’s denial of Mr. Bruce’s [habeas corpus] application, we deny a [certificate of appealability] and dismiss the appeal,” says the six-page order from Circuit Judge Harris Hartz.

Hartz also wrote that Bruce “utterly failed to make the showing of actual innocence” he needed to prove there was a miscarriage of justice in his trial.

Reached for comment by phone early Friday, Bruce said the order preventing him from filing an appeal was "bizarre."

"The courts are just hopeless," Bruce said, shortly before hanging up.