So complicated that even the government doesn’t understand them.
As remarkable as that conclusion may sound, my colleague Robert Frommer has a piece in the Denver Post demonstrating exactly that.
The piece tells the story of “Clear the Bench,” an independent grassroots organization that came together to oppose the retention of four Colorado Supreme Court justices. The group tried in good faith to comply with the campaign finance laws, and even asked the agency charged with enforcing those laws what it was supposed to do. Nevertheless, when Clear the Bench spoke out, they found themselves hauled into court by their political opponents, charged with failing to register as the proper kind of political committee. Ultimately, after a year and a half of litigation, a court agreed, and gave Clear the Bench 20 days to register as the correct kind of committee.
The problem? As Frommer notes:
The court’s ruling was wrong.
Clear the Bench wants to independently advocate against the retention of certain Colorado Supreme Court justices. Under
The fact that something like this could happen in any area of the law is frightening enough. But something is particularly wrong when the laws regulating political speech are so complicated that everyone involved in a legal dispute—lawyers, elections officials, and judges—fails to understand them.