Do Citizen Votes on Taxes and Laws Violate the Constitution’s Requirement of a “Republican Form of Government?”

October 26th, 2012 by admin Categories: Issue Papers, Publications, constitution, federal, government, petition process No Responses

Opponents of popular participation in government have long argued that when a state constitution or legislature permits the people to vote on revenue measures and other laws, this puts the state out of compliance with the U.S. Constitution’s Guarantee Clause: the requirement at all states have a “Republican Form of Government.” Traditionally, their argument has been that the Constitution draws a sharp distinction between a republic and a democracy, and that citizen initiatives and referenda are too democratic to be republican. Recently, a group of plaintiffs sued in federal court, challenging Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) relying on a variation of this theory.

In this Issue Paper, Professor Rob Natelson, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence and the author of the most important scholarly article on the Guarantee Clause, sets the record straight. Marshaling evidence from Founding-Era sources and from the words of the Founders themselves, he shows that the phrase “Republican Form of Government” permits citizen lawmaking—and that, in fact, most of the governments on the Founders’ list of republics included far more citizen lawmaking than is permitted in Colorado or any other American state. He further shows that the principal purpose of the Guarantee Clause was not to restrict popular government, but to protect popular government by forestalling monarchy.

Federal Pay Freeze Should Precede a Larger Fiscal Conversation

December 16th, 2010 by admin Categories: Barry Fagin, Opinion Editorials, colorado, colorado springs, employee, federal, freeze, gazette, obama, pay No Responses

by Barry Fagin
As a long-time, hard-working federal employee who gives up a lot to work where he does, I have just one thing to say about the proposed federal employee pay freeze. I think it’s a terrific idea.
Well, maybe not exactly terrific, particularly if you think about how little difference it would actually make. But [...]

How Much Does Government Cost You?

September 17th, 2010 by admin Categories: Featured, Revenue, Updates, debt, deficit, earnings, federal, fiscal, government, income, local, state, taxes, waste No Responses

Thanks to our friends at the Independent Institute out in Oakland, California, regular folks like us can figure out just how much the government is costing us in direct payments and in lost earnings over our lifetime.  From the About Page on the MyGovCost website,
The Government Cost Calculator is a unique service from The Independent [...]