Today's Denver Post reports that Colorado State Senator Pat Steadman, a sponsor of the bill that took Colorado PERA pensioners' contractual rights (SB10-001) has stated that he seeks "Justice FOR ALL."
But, does State Senator Pat Steadman actually desire "Justice FOR ALL"? Apparently, Senator Steadman is not interested in seeking justice for the elderly Colorado PERA pensioners whose constitutional rights he considers irrelevant, and whose property rights he has ignored.
If Senator Steadman is truly interested in "Justice FOR ALL," would he not have pointed out on the floor of the Colorado Senate, at every opportunity, legislative testimony from Colorado PERA's lawyers regarding the constitutional rights of PERA pensioners? That is, part of the evidence supporting the contractual rights of Colorado PERA pensioners that was recently and conveniently ignored by the Colorado Supreme Court?
December 16, 2009
Colorado PERA officials in written testimony to the Joint Budget Committee: “The General Assembly cannot decrease the COLA (absent actuarial necessity) because it is part of the contractual obligations that accrue under a pension plan protected under the Colorado Constitution Article II, Section 11 and the United States Constitution Article 1, Section 10 for vested contractual rights.”
See the article: "THE TRADITIONAL COLORADO STATE 'SCREWING' OF COLORADO TEACHERS AND PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS."
(Former Colorado Union [AFSCME] Officials Weigh In, and Comment on the Legacy of Colorado State Senator Pat Steadman.)
Colorado State Senator Steadman rightly fights for the constitutional rights of a group (of which he is a member) . . . a group that has been politically weak and accordingly targeted in the past. But, is Senator Steadman truly interested in "Justice FOR ALL"? When Senator Steadman states that he seeks "Justice FOR ALL," does he simply mean that he seeks justice for members of groups of citizens to which he belongs? Would Senator Steadman have supported the targeting of the constitutional rights of elderly Colorado pensioners if he were a member of that particular group? Does Senator Steadman believe that only the constitutional rights of certain politically weak US citizens should be defended? The rights of others discarded, if this abandonment conforms with prevailing public sentiment toward the politically weak group? The rights of others discarded if this taking of rights frees up money that politicians would like to use elsewhere? Apparently, the constitutional rights of some citizens are disposable.
In granting a judicial blessing to the SB10-001 Colorado PERA COLA taking, and in ignoring long-standing case precedent, the Colorado Judicial Branch has provided a political favor to the Colorado Legislative Branch.
"The general liberty of the people can never be endangered from the judiciary, so long as it remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the executive.”
Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 78
The Legislative and Judicial taking of the constitutional rights of Colorado PERA retirees continues and excuses a long history of mismanagement of the Colorado PERA pension system. If our State Senator Pat Steadman truly desired "Justice FOR ALL" he would have refused to have been part of this scheme in 2009. Sadly, Senator Pat Steadman's support for SB10-001 is now part of his legacy.
From the Denver Post:
"The Pledge of Allegiance follows the prayer, and Steadman loudly accentuated the final two words.”
“'With liberty and justice FOR ALL,' said Steadman."
“'And not just for some,' Newell loudly added."
Support the Rule of Law in Colorado at saveperacola.com.