By Peter J. Smith

DENVER, Colorado, October 4, 2010 ( – Sponsors of Colorado’s personhood amendment lost their legal challenge against this year’s state voter’s guide, the Colorado Blue Book, which they alleged was biased and filled with false statements. Last week, a district judge dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that the courts did not have the jurisdiction to overrule the Legislative Council, the authors of the voter’s guide.

Denver District Judge Robert Hyatt also contended as a practical matter that it was too late to intervene before the general election, as all 1.8 million Coloradans had already received the final draft of their Blue Books. He said the request of the amendment’s sponsors for the state to send out a correction notice to all the voters before the election was both impractical and of little substantial benefit.

“Everyone in this room has probably received their Blue Book,” Hyatt said. “This court is in no position to wander around the state picking them up.” 
Amendment 62 is a ballot measure in Colorado that would extend personhood in law to all human beings from the beginning of their biological development. But supporters allege that the Blue Book, which is supposed to give “a fair and impartial analysis” on ballot measures, was grossly biased against the personhood amendment.

In the “arguments against” section, the book stated that “Amendment 62 may also limit access to emergency contraception, commonly used forms of birth control, and treatment for miscarriages, tubal pregnancies, cancer, and infertility.”

The arguments against section also states, “the measure may subject doctors and nurses to legal action for providing medical care to a woman of child-bearing age if that care could affect a ‘person’ other than the identified patient.”

Amendment 62 sponsors contended that none of the 70 pages of material they presented to the Legislative Council, a bipartisan commission empowered by the legislature to author the voter’s guide, were included in the Blue Book’s final draft. They also took issue with the fact that the Council opted to use the term “human life” instead of “human being.”

“I think it is apparent that the court believes there is no authority over the Colorado Legislative Council, and that is scary,” said Gualberto GarciaJones, a co-sponsor of Amendment 62. “The Colorado Legislative Council can print anything they want to based on their own prejudices, and my tax dollars have to pay for it.”

Backers are seeking to revise the Blue Book’s contention that women’s options for treatment of miscarriages, tubal pregnancies, cancer, and infertility would be limited under Amendment 62. They also disagree with that the Blue Book’s statement that “the beginning of biological development” has “no established legal meaning, and is not an accepted medical or scientific term.”

Garcia Jones and Amendment 62 sponsors are planning to appeal the decision.

According to the Denver Post, state records show five court challenges have been filed challenging the final draft of Blue Book since 1996. The latest challenges happened in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Denver district judges have dismissed every single one.

View the Colorado Blue Book here

See previous coverage:

Colorado Personhood Backers File Lawsuit against ‘Biased’ Voter Guide

Colorado Abortionists Launch Campaign against Personhood Ballot Initiative