Colorado Supreme Court declines to issue ruling, keeping citizen initiative off Boulder ballots
By Shay Castle. Originally published on the Boulder Beat on August 28, 2020.
"The state’s highest court will not rule on an appeal from Bedrooms Are For People, a citizen petition campaign seeking to force placement on ballots this fall after city officials gave incorrect advice about signatures thresholds and deadlines and a lower court ruled Boulder didn’t legally have to right its wrongs.
In a two-sentence order, the Colorado Supreme Court dismissed the appeal because its role is to settle matters of law, not disagreement on facts. That authority is typically reserved for lower courts; because of the time-sensitive nature of ballot content, the case skipped the typical process.
'Upon consideration of the parties’ briefs and the limited record in this case, the Court concludes that a number of unresolved factual disputes preclude the Court from properly deciding the questions presented in this appeal. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the present appeal is DISMISSED. In entering this order, the Court expresses no opinion on the merits of the questions presented.'
The court accepted the appeal last Thursday, Aug. 20, less than a week after District Court Judge Andrew MacDonald ruled that, while Boulder clearly gave out incorrect information, there was no legal path for the petition to be put to voters. Statements from city officials — including published guidance like Bedrooms and other campaigns received — cannot supplant written law, he found."