Dan Caplis Show, Mike Norton, February 14, 2014

Station:   KNUS, 710 AM

Show:      Dan Caplis Show

Guests:    Norton, Mike

Link:        http://dancaplis.podbean.com/?source=pb

Date:       February  14, 2014

Topics:   Same Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, Senate Bill 19, Colorado State Income Tax Returns, Joint Filing, Attorney General John Suthers, Governor Hickenlooper, Extremist,  Activist Judges, Denver Catholic Register, Catholic Archdioscese, Catholic Conference, Former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton, President Ronald Reagan, President George H.W. Bush, Excutive Orders, Overreach, Adams County Lawsuit, Department of Revenue

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HOST DAN CAPLIS:  So, wow!  Well, we’ll get back to that topic in a few minutes.  I’m looking forward to having Mike Norton on with us in a couple of minutes to talk about this Senate Bill 19.  Is this, you know, a backdoor effort to subvert the will of the people?  The people of Colorado, you know, strongly spoke out, right?  They want marriage to be one man, one woman.  It’s part of our Constitution.  But this Senate Bill 19, a new senate bill proposing changes to the state tax code to accommodate same sex couples has revived impassioned debate about the definition of marriage. This piece out of the Denver Catholic Register: “Senate Bill 19, which proposes substituting the words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ with ‘two taxpayers’ [chuckling] on state income tax forms moved swiftly through the state legislature last week.”  And Jenny Carrasco of the Colorado Catholic Conference […] said “it’s a backdoor way to erode the definition of marriage, defined as bewteen one man and one woman in the state Constitution.”  And Mike Norton who is a great guy, great attorney, and stands up at every turn to try to fight within the legal system to defend life, marriage, etc, will join us shortly.


CAPLIS:  Let’s get to the VIP line, and talk to a really, really good guy. His name is Mike Norton, and let me tell you a little bit about him, before we hear from Mike on this.  Mike is, –the subjective part of this–just one of the most talented attorneys you will ever meet in your entire life.  He served as the U.S.  Attorney for the district of Colorado, appointed by President Reagan, reappointed by [George] H.W. [Bush].  And then has had all of these other high level legal experiences that prepared him very well for some of the fights he takes on now: standing up in the courts for traditional marriage—and we’ll talk about that right here; standing up for life, etc.  [He is] Married to Jane Norton, another fantastic person who has done so much good for Colorado and beyond.  Mike, Welcome to 710 KNUS.

MIKE NORTON:  Oh, thanks, Dan.  It’s an honor and a privilege to be with you.  And Jane, by the way, sends her best.  She wanted me to say hello to you.

CAPLIS:  Thank you.  A very, very, special person.  And, you know, Mike, before you came on with us, I read for folks the Denver Catholic Register set-up story here on Senate Bill 19, but if you could, a this point, tell people why you oppose it, obviously the Catholic church, the Catholic  Archdiocese opposes it, and where do you think this thing is headed legislatively?

MIKE NORTON:  Well, its’ very interesting, Dan.   As we have been on the – as you have been on the air this morning, and as I have been calling in, the Colorado Statehouse passed Senate Bill 19 on what is called ‘second reading’.  I – as I understand the process, it has to go up for what’s called a ‘third reading’ – another vote, next week.   And unquestionably, based on the makeup of the House – the Statehouse, as well as the state senate, as well as the governor’s office, it will pass, and unless the people of this state – of Colorado –rise up in outrage over the things that have been happening in their state, it will be signed into law.  What Senate Bill 19 does, is revise Colorado’s tax code to strike out references in sixteen different places to the words ‘husband’ and ‘wife’, so as to redefine those who may file joint tax returns – “married filing jointly tax returns” in the state of Colorado—may do so as, um – as, uh– as uh,– essentially as though they were married.  Now, what’s—to me—astonishing about this proposal and sort of the back ground of this proposal is, we’ve been reading a lot in recent days – we’ve been hearing a lot in recent days about how President Obama has been acting on Executive Orders to change laws – deadlines, dates, enforcement applications of laws and so forth–without any legislative authorization.  Well, the Hickenlooper administration did the very same thing by issuing a temporary – its Department of Revenue issued a temporary regulation that put in place for 120 days the ability of same-sex couples to file as married, joint-filing, joint return couples.  I believe that is an unlawful regulation that has been issued by the Colorado Department of Revenue.  Unfortunately, if this bill –that Senate Bill 19 –does pass and is signed into law, it makes any challenge to the regulation somewhat moot.  But it’s nevertheless an indication of how far this nation has come, and this state has come from the rule of law.

CAPLIS:  Right.

NORTON:  And frankly, the rule that the people control.

CAPLIS:  Right.

NORTON:  Because what this bill is all about, is to incrementally destroy Colorado’s preference for marriage.

CAPLIS:  Mm-hmm.

NORTON:  You know, [we] have a constitutional amendment that was passed by the people of the state of Colorado in 2006, that really didn’t state anything new.  It simply reaffirmed what has been the historic position of the people of Colorado, [and] the people of this nation,– in fact, the western world, that marriage of a man and a woman is a foundational social relationship that is important for the survival of any society.

CAPLIS:  Right.  Right.

NORTON:  And so, that is what was passed by the people in the constitutional amendment.  We have a state law that defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman.  And that any marriage contracted outside of the state that does not satisfy that requirement is not recognized as valid.  That’s true of the Colorado Marriage Amendment, as well.  So, the whole process is an effort to undermine legislatively Colorado’s constitutional marriage amendment.  I think the people – the Democrats who control the Senate and the House –

CAPLIS:  Mm-hmm.

NORTON:  –at this point in time, as well as Governor Hickenlooper know that they cannot change the marriage amendment—know that the people will not change the marriage amendment –

CAPLIS:  Right.  Right.

NORTON:  – and so they’re trying to figure out – trying to set it up for the courts to do so – so that an activist judge, whether a state judge or a federal judge will– and there are challenges ongoing now, in Adams County right now, that our Attorney General is defending that will strike down Colorado’s marriage amendment as we’ve seen, this is happening all over the country.  So that’s what this is all about.

CAPLIS:  Right.  Right.

NORTON:  And I mean, everyone is in favor of marriage equality, but we have to pretty much know what a marriage is, before we can define whether it is equality.  And by tradition, and throughout history, marriage is defined as a union of a man and a woman, and it exists for a single purpose, and that is to bear and raise children. There is no question that children do better when they are with a man – a husband and a wife, a father and a mother.  Moms and dads are different.  And children need both moms and they needs [sic] dads, as well.  Recently, Obama — and I think actually summed this up as well as anybody.  He said, “We know the statistics, that children that grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and twenty times more likely to end up in prison.”

CAPLIS:  Well, and Mike –.

NORTON:  And they are more likely to have behavioral problems, run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves.  And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.  That sums it up pretty well.  I mean, there are legions of cycle [?] studies that — parental studies that support those ideas.  But that sums it up pretty well.  So  that’s what this is all about.

CAPLIS:  No, I think it does.  I think you’re right, Mike.  And I’m glad you’re out there fighting the good fight.  And a couple of follow up questions.  First, I think this particular vehicle for the fight – these tax advantages – is really important because, obviously, our society decided a long time ago that it wanted to put its money where its mouth was, and encourage traditional marriage by providing these financial incentives to –for people to marry, so kids would have both a father and a mother. And so I think it’s also subverting the public will that way.  But, what are the chances, once this law passes – and I think you’re right, at this point, Hickenlooper, the Democratic majority – no matter how narrow—has made it clear, they don’t care about the will of the people.  You know, they’re so far separated from the will of the people as shown through polls on everything from guns to letting teachers carry concealed, etc, –they’re just blatantly defying that, betting they’ll get away with it.  So, assuming this becomes law in Colorado, what are your chances of beating it in the courts?

NORTON:  Well, I think that – first of all, let me say, I want to commend Attorney General John Suthers.  He has joined with, I think, 30 other Attoney Generals [sic] around the country to file an amicus brief in the Utah same-sex marriage dispute.  A Utah judge struck down Utah’s same – uh, Utah’s marriage statute, –uh, constitutional provisions.  And, uh, so thanks to John Suthers for joining that battle on behalf of Colorado and the constitutional provisions in Colorado for one man and one woman.  I think the same thing is true here.  I think there’s a – the motives of these sponsors – and you are right, they are lawless in many respects, they don’t care about the people.  The Constitution of Colorado is the People’s document and it should be amended by the people, not undermined by a legislative action.  So, I’m hopeful that John Suthers will look at both this regulation that has been passed by the Department of Revenue, as well as this law as an assault on Colorado’s marriage amendment and take steps.  I think that’s a possibility.

CAPLIS:  I am gl–.

NORTON:  If it’s going to happen, I certainly can’t predict that it will happen, but it is certainly a possibility.

CAPLIS:  Well, Mike, I’m gl–.

NORTON:  Of course, the bottom line of a democratic republic like Colorado, like the United States of America, is for the people themselves to rise up in arms, to vote, become informed and replace these people that don’t care about what the people think, with people who do care what the people think and want in their society.

CAPLIS:  Exactly.  Beautifully said, Mike.  And thank you for your time today.  I really appreciate that.

NORTON:  Thank you, Dan.  God bless you, and best to Amy [Caplis nee Sporer, Dan’s wife]

CAPLIS:  You as well.  Say hello to Jane and keep up the great work!  I tell you, it’s – you’ve got these unsung heroes out there who, you know, we don’t hear about often enough, who are working brutally hard in the trenches, you know, to try to enforce the will of the people, you know, fight the good fight, and stop the left, –or at least slow down the left –from winning through the courts what they could never win at the ballot box.  And Mike Norton is one of those great people.  So, thanks for his work.