Colo. Bar Assn. opposes ‘personhood’ amendment

Filed under: Daily News |

The Colorado Bar Association’s Executive Council, along with the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, announced their opposition to Amendment 62, dubbed the “personhood” amendment, at a press conference today.

The amendment would extend the definition of a person’s legal rights “to every human being from the beginning of biological development of that human being,” solely based on the ramifications such an amendment would have on the laws and jurisprudence of Colorado.

“Part of our charge as an association of more than 17,000 attorneys is to encourage the adoption of proper legislation,” said CBA President Paul Chan. “This proposed constitutional amendment has far-reaching consequences that would have a dramatic impact on the laws and jurisprudence in Colorado if it were to be adopted.”

Almost every area of law would be affected, including criminal law, family law, trusts and estates, real estate law, elder law, tort law, juvenile law, health law, and business law.

The word “person” appears more than 20,000 times in the Colorado Revised Statutes and in Colorado regulations and municipal ordinances. To redefine the term person as Amendment 62 proposes would effectively amend all of the statutes in Colorado that contain that term.

Furthermore, the jurisprudence that has developed in defining the term would have to be revisited as a result of the proposed amendment.

The CBA has not taken any position as to the other arguments against Amendment 62 including medical issues, privacy issues, or individual rights to make decisions.