Ballot Initiative (Colorado): Title Board Approves Title for Initiative That Counters the ACRI Initiative

[Update: on March 5, 2008 after granting a motion for rehearing, the Title Board denied the title set for Initiative 61 on the basis that the measure does not constitute a single subject.]

The Colorado Title Board approved a title for a ballot initiative (Initiative #61) that uses some of the same language of American Civil Rights Institutes’s (ACRI) ballot initiative (Initiative #31). The key difference with Initiative #61 is that it would allow the state to make decisions in the areas of public employment, public education, and public contracting that is consistent with the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The title of Initiative #61, approved by the Title Board, follows.

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution concerning a prohibition against discrimination by the state, and, in connection therewith, prohibiting the state from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, and public contracting; preserving the state’s authority to take actions regarding public employment, public education, and public contracting that are consistent with the United States constitution as interpreted by the United States supreme court; and defining “state” to include, without limitation, the state of Colorado, any agency or department of the state, any public institution of higher education, any political subdivision, or any governmental instrumentality of or within the state?

This is an unexpected development. While I do not agree with the inclusion of the phrase “or granting preferential treatment to,” having decisions tied to U.S. Supreme Court decisions is a cautiously* better outcome than ACRI’s vague language.

*I am cautious because the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court could be one that favors the ACRI view.

Regardless, I agree with the move of the proponents of Colorado Initiative #61.

[Note: Regardless of my support of Initiative #61, I still maintain my critique of Colorado’s process of amending its Constitution.]