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Oxford Law Citator
Part One The History of the Colorado Constitution
The History and Development of the Colorado Constitution
Prelude to the 1875–1876 Constitutional Convention
The 1875–1876 Constitutional Convention
The Constitution in Place: Significant Amendments
The Presidential Election of 1876
Alferd Packer’s 1883 Trial for Cannibalism
The State Treasury Ring (1876–1892)
“The Royal Gorge War”: Two Railroads Fight Pitched Battles over Rights of Way (1878–1879)
The Governor’s 1894 “War with City Hall”
Violence at the Mines (1903–1914)
“Three Governors in One Day” — March 17, 1905
The Supreme Court Convicts a U.S. Senator and Publisher of the Rocky Mountain News of Criminal Contempt (1905)
The One-Senator State (1911–1913)
Populism Threatens the Courts (1912–1921)
Battling the Depression
Incumbents at the Barricades — The Reapportionment Struggle (1920–1974)
Legislation through Constitutional Amendment — The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (1992)
Part Two The Colorado Constitution and Commentary
Art.II Bill of Rights
s.1 Vestment of political power.
s.2 People may alter or abolish form of government—Proviso.
s.3 Inalienable rights.
s.4 Religious freedom.
s.5 Freedom of elections.
s.6 Equality of justice.
s.7 Security of person and property—Searches—Seizures—Warrants.
s.8 Prosecutions—Indictment or information.
s.9 Treason—Estates of suicides.
s.10 Freedom of speech and press.
s.11 Ex post facto laws.
Ex Post Facto Clause
Special Privileges, Franchises and Immunities Clause
s.12 No imprisonment for debt.
s.13 Right to bear arms.
s.14 Taking private property for private use.
s.15 Taking property for public use—Compensation, how ascertained.
Taken or Damaged
Property, Compensation, Adjudication
s.16 Criminal prosecutions—Rights of defendant.
s.16a Rights of crime victims.
s.17 Imprisonment of witnesses—Depositions—Form.
s.18 Crimes—Evidence against one’s self—Jeopardy.
s.19 Right to bail—Exceptions.
s.20 Excessive bail, fines or punishment.
Cruel and Unusual Punishments
s.21 Suspension of habeas corpus.
s.22 Military subject to civil power—Quartering of troops.
s.23 Trial by jury—Grand jury.
s.24 Right to assemble and petition.
s.25 Due process of law.
Due Process Includes Equal Protection
Criminal and Civil Procedure
Economic and Social Regulation
s.26 Slavery prohibited.
s.27 Property rights of aliens.
s.28 Rights reserved not disparaged.
s.29 Equality of the sexes.
s.30 Right to vote or petition on annexation—Enclaves.
s.30a Official language.
s.30b No protected status based on homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation.
Art.III Distribution of Powers
Separating Lawmaking from Application
Judicial Power and Lawmaking
Separating Administration from Judging
Art.IV Executive Department
s.1 Officers—Terms of office.
s.2 Governor supreme executive.
s.3 State officers—Election—Returns.
s.4 Qualifications of state officers.
s.5 Governor commander-in-chief of militia.
s.6 Appointment of officers—Vacancy.
s.7 Governor may grant reprieves and pardons.
s.8 Governor may require information from officers—Message.
s.9 Governor may convene legislature or senate.
s.10 Governor may adjourn legislature.
s.11 Bills presented to governor—Veto—Return.
s.12 Governor may veto items in appropriation bills—Reconsideration.
s.13 Succession to the office of governor and lieutenant governor.
s.14 Lieutenant governor president of senate.
s.15 No lieutenant governor—Who to act as governor.
s.16 Account and report of moneys.
s.17 Executive officers to make report.
s.18 State seal.
s.19 Salaries of officers—Fees paid into treasury.
s.20 State librarian.
s.21 Elected auditor of state—Powers and duties.
s.22 Principal departments.
s.23 Commissioner of insurance.
Art.V Legislative Department
s.1 General assembly—Initiative and referendum.
Referendum on Statutes
Paramount Importance of Constitutional Initiatives
s.2 Election of members—Oath—Vacancies.
s.3 Terms of senators and representatives.
s.4 Qualifications of members.
s.5 Classification of senators.
s.6 Salary and expenses of members.
s.7 General assembly—Shall meet when—Term of members—Committees.
s.8 Members precluded from holding office.
s.9 Increase of salary—When forbidden.
s.10 Each house to choose its officers.
s.12 Each house makes and enforces rules.
s.13 Journal—Ayes and noes to be entered—When.
s.14 Open sessions.
s.15 Adjournment for more than three days.
s.16 Privileges of members.
s.17 No law passed but by bill—Amendments.
s.18 Enacting clause.
s.19 When laws take effect—Introduction of bills.
s.20 Bills referred to committee—Printed.
s.21 Bill to contain but one subject—Expressed in title.
s.22 Reading and passage of bills.
s.22a Caucus positions prohibited—Penalties.
s.22b Effect of sections 20 and 22a .
s.23 Vote on amendments and report of committee.
s.24 Revival, amendment or extension of laws.
s.25 Special legislation prohibited.
s.25a Eight-hour employment.
s.26 Signing of bills.
s.27 Officers and employees—Compensation.
s.28 Extra compensation to officers, employees, or contractors forbidden.
s.29 Contracts for facilities and supplies.
s.30 Salary of governor and judges to be fixed by legislature—Term not to be extended or salaries increased or decreased.
s.31 Revenue bills.
s.32 Appropriation bills.
s.33 Disbursement of public money.
s.34 Appropriations to private institutions forbidden.
s.35 Delegation of power.
s.36 Laws on investment of trust funds.
s.37 Change of venue.
s.38 No liability exchanged or released.
s.39 Orders and resolutions presented to governor.
s.40 Bribery and influence in general assembly.
s.41 Offering, giving, promising money or other consideration.
s.42 Corrupt solicitation of members and officers.
s.43 Member interested shall not vote.
s.44 Representatives in congress.
s.45 General assembly.
s.46 Senatorial and representative districts.
s.47 Composition of districts.
s.48 Revision and alteration of districts—Reapportionment commission.
s.49 Appointment of state auditor—Term—Qualifications—Duties.
s.50 Public funding of abortion forbidden.
Art.VI Judicial Department
s.1 Vestment of judicial power.
s.2 Appellate jurisdiction.
s.3 Original jurisdiction—Opinions.
s.5 Personnel of court—Departments—Chief justice.
s.6 Election of judges.
s.7 Term of office.
s.8 Qualifications of justices.
s.9 District courts—Jurisdiction.
s.10 Judicial districts—District judges.
s.11 Qualifications of district judges.
s.12 Terms of court.
s.13 District attorneys—Election—Term—Salary—Qualifications.
s.14 Probate court—Jurisdiction—Judges—Election—Term—Qualifications.
s.15 Juvenile court—Jurisdiction—Judges—Election—Term—Qualifications.
s.16 County judges—Terms—Qualifications.
s.17 County courts—Jurisdiction—Appeals.
s.18 Compensation and services.
s.19 Laws relating to courts—Uniform.
s.21 Rule-making power.
s.22 Process—Prosecution—In name of people.
s.23 Retirement and removal of justices and judges.
s.24 Judicial nominating commissions.
s.25 Election of justices and judges.
s.26 Denver county judges.
Art.VII Suffrage and Elections
s.1 Qualifications of elector.
s.1a Qualifications of elector—Residence on federal land.
s.2 Suffrage to women.
s.3 Educational qualifications of elector.
s.4 When residence does not change.
s.5 Privilege of voters.
s.6 Electors only eligible to office.
s.7 General election.
s.8 Elections by ballot or voting machine.
s.9 No privilege to witness in election trial.
s.10 Disfranchisement during imprisonment.
s.11 Purity of elections.
s.12 Election contests—By whom tried.
Art.VIII State Institutions
s.1 Established and supported by state.
s.2 Seat of government—Where located.
s.3 Seat of government—How changed.
s.4 Appropriation for capitol building.
s.5 Educational institutions.
s.1 Supervision of schools—Board of education.
s.2 Establishment and maintenance of public schools.
s.3 School fund inviolate.
s.4 County treasurer to collect and disburse.
s.5 Of what school fund consists.
s.6 County superintendent of schools.
s.7 Aid to private schools, churches, sectarian purpose, forbidden.
s.8 Religious test and race discrimination forbidden—Sectarian tenets.
s.9 State board of land commissioners.
s.10 Selection and control of public lands.
s.11 Compulsory education.
s.12 Regents of university.
s.13 President of university.
s.14 Control of university.
s.15 School districts—Board of education.
s.16 Textbooks in public schools.
s.1 Fiscal year.
s.2 Tax provided for state expenses.
s.3 Uniform taxation—Exemptions.
Taxes Must Be Uniform
Exemption for “Ditches, Canals and Flumes”
Other Taxes and Fees
s.3.5 Homestead exemption for qualifying senior citizens.
s.4 Public property exempt.
s.5 Property used for religious worship, schools and charitable purposes exempt.
s.6 Self-propelled equipment, motor vehicles, and certain other movable equipment.
s.7 Municipal taxation by general assembly prohibited.
s.8 No county, city, town to be released.
s.9 Relinquishment of power to tax corporations forbidden.
s.10 Corporations subject to tax.
s.11 Maximum rate of taxation.
s.12 Public funds—Report of state treasurer.
s.13 Making profit on public money—Felony.
s.14 Private property not taken for public debt.
s.15 Boards of equalization—Duties—Property tax administrator.
s.16 Appropriations not to exceed tax—Exceptions.
s.17 Income tax.
s.18 License fees and excise taxes—Use of.
s.19 State income tax laws by reference to United States tax laws.
s.20 The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
Art.XI Public Indebtedness
s.1 Pledging credit of state, county, city, town or school district forbidden.
s.2 No aid to corporations—No joint ownership by state, county, city, town or school district.
s.2a Student loan program.
The Moffat Tunnel and the Winter Park Resort
The Public Purpose Exception
The Definition of Grants in Aid
s.3 Public debt of state—Limitations.
s.4 Law creating debt.
s.5 Debt for public buildings—How created.
s.6 Local government debt.
s.7 State and political subdivisions may give assistance to any political subdivision.
s.8 City indebtedness; ordinance, tax, water obligations excepted.
s.9 This article not to affect prior obligations.
s.10 1976 Winter Olympics.
s.1 When office expires—Suspension by law.
s.2 Personal attention required.
s.3 Defaulting collector disqualified from office.
s.4 Disqualifications from holding office of trust or profit.
s.5 Investigation of state and county treasurers.
s.6 Bribery of officers defined.
s.7 Bribery—Corrupt solicitation.
s.8 Oath of civil officers.
s.9 Oaths—Where filed.
s.10 Refusal to qualify—Vacancy.
s.11 Elected public officers—Term—Salary—Vacancy.
s.12 Duel—Disqualifies for office.
s.13 Personnel system of state—Merit system.
s.14 State personnel board—State personnel director.
s.15 Veterans’ preference.
s.1 House impeach—Senate try—Conviction—When chief justice presides.
s.2 Who liable to impeachment—Judgment—No bar to prosecution.
s.3 Officers not subject to impeachment subject to removal.
s.1 Counties of state.
s.2 Removal of county seats.
s.3 Striking off territory—Vote.
s.4 New county shall pay proportion of debt.
s.5 Part stricken off—Pay proportion of debt.
s.6 County commissioners—Election—Term.
s.7 Officers compensation.
s.8 County officers—Election—Term—Salary.
s.9 Vacancies—How filled.
s.10 Elector only eligible to county office.
s.11 Justices of the peace—Constables.
s.12 Other officers.
s.13 Classification of cities and towns.
s.14 Existing cities and towns may come under general law.
s.15 Compensation and fees of county officers.
s.16 County home rule.
s.17 Service authorities.
s.18 Intergovernmental relationships
s.1 Unused charters or grants of privilege.
s.2 Corporate charters created by general law.
s.3 Power to revoke, alter or annul charter.
s.4 Railroads—Common carriers—Construction—Intersection.
s.5 Consolidation of parallel lines forbidden.
s.6 Equal rights of public to transportation.
s.7 Existing railroads to file acceptance of constitution.
s.8 Eminent domain—Police power—Not to be abridged.
s.9 Fictitious stock, bonds—Increase of stock.
s.10 Foreign corporations—Place—Agent.
s.11 Street railroads—Consent of municipality.
s.12 Retrospective laws not to be passed.
s.13 Telegraph lines—Consolidation.
s.14 Railroad or telegraph companies—Consolidating with foreign companies.
s.15 Contracts with employees releasing from liability—Void.
Art.XVI Mining and Irrigation
s.1 Commissioner of mines.
s.2 Ventilation—Employment of children.
s.4 Mining, metallurgy, in public institutions.
s.5 Water of streams public property.
s.6 Diverting unappropriated water—Priority preferred uses.
Appropriative Water Rights
s.7 Right-of-way for ditches, flumes.
s.8 County commissioners to fix rates for water, when.
s.1 Persons subject to service.
s.3 Officers—How chosen.
s.5 Exemption in time of peace.
s.1 Homestead and exemption laws.
s.2 Lotteries prohibited—Exceptions.
s.3 Arbitration laws.
s.4 Felony defined.
s.5 Spurious and drugged liquors—Laws concerning.
s.6 Preservation of forests.
s.7 Land value increase—Arboreal planting exempt.
s.8 Publication of laws.
s.9 Limited gaming permitted.
s.9a U.S. senators and representatives—Limitations on terms.
s.10 Severability of constitutional provisions.
s.11 Elected government officials—Limitation on terms.
s.12 Congressional Term Limits Amendment.
s.12a Congressional Term Limits Declaration.
s.13 Prohibited methods of taking wildlife
s.14 Medical use of marijuana for persons suffering from debilitating medical conditions
s.1 Constitutional convention—How called.
s.2 Amendments to constitution—How adopted
Art.XX Home Rule Cities and Towns
s.3 Transfer of government.
s.4 First charter.
s.5 New charters, amendments or measures.
s.6 Home rule for cities and towns.
s.7 City and County of Denver single school district—Consolidations.
s.8 Conflicting constitutional provisions declared inapplicable.
s.9 Procedure and requirements for adoption.
The City and County of Denver
Evolution of Home Rule
Home Rule Doctrine
Charters as Limits
s.10 City and County of Broomfield—Created.
s.11 Officers—City and County of Broomfield.
s.12 Transfer of government.
s.13 Sections self-executing—Appropriations.
Art.XXI Recall from Office
s.1 State officers may be recalled.
s.2 Form of recall petition.
s.3 Resignation—Filling vacancy.
s.4 Limitation—Municipal corporations may adopt, when.
Officers Subject to Recall
Limit on Delegations
Art.XXII Intoxicating Liquor
s.1 Repeal of intoxicating liquor laws.
Art.XXIII Publication of Legal Advertising
s.1 Publication of proposed constitutional amendments and initiated and referred bills.
Art.XXIV Old Age Pensions
s.1 Fund created.
s.2 Moneys allocated to fund.
s.3 Persons entitled to receive pensions.
s.4 The state board of public welfare to administer fund.
s.5 Revenues for old age pension fund continued.
s.6 Basic minimum award.
s.7 Stabilization fund and health and medical care fund.
s.8 Fund to remain inviolate.
s.9 Effective date.
Art.XXV Public Utilities
Art.XXVI Nuclear Detonations
s.1 Nuclear detonations prohibited—Exceptions.
s.2 Election required.
s.3 Certification of indemnification required.
s.4 Article self-executing.
Art.XXVII Great Outdoors Colorado
s.1 Great Outdoors Colorado Program.
s.2 Trust Fund created.
s.3 Moneys allocated to Trust Fund.
s.4 Fund to remain inviolate.
s.5 Trust Fund expenditures.
s.6 The State Board of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund.
s.7 No effect on Colorado water laws.
s.8 No substitution allowed.
s.9 Eminent domain.
s.10 Payment in lieu of taxes.
s.11 Effective date.
s.1 All laws remain till repealed.
s.3 Territorial property vests in state.
s.4 Duty of general assembly.
s.5 Supreme and district courts—Transition.
s.6 Judges—District attorneys—Term commence on filing oath.
s.7 Seals of supreme and district courts.
s.8 Probate court—County court.
s.9 Terms probate court, probate judge, apply to county court, county judge.
s.10 County and precinct officers.
s.11 Vacancies in county offices.
s.12 Constitution takes effect on president’s proclamation.
s.13 First election, contest.
s.14 First election—Canvass.
s.16 Congressional election—Canvass.
s.17 General assembly, first session—Restrictions removed.
s.18 First general election—Canvass.
s.19 Presidential electors, 1876.
s.20 Presidential electors after 1876.
s.21 Expenses of convention.
s.22 Recognizances, bonds, payable to people continue.
Table of Cases
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Table of Cases
The Colorado State Constitution
Richard B. Collins, Dale A. Oesterle
US Constitutional Law [USC]
Oxford Commentaries on the State Constitutions of the United States
Published in print:
18 April 2011