Colorado residents are subject to Colorado state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Colorado as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Colorado also has its own state laws. Colorado state laws include the Colorado Constitution, laws passed by the Colorado legislature and periodically codified in the Colorado Revised Statutes, and decisions by courts that interpret Colorado laws.
The current Colorado Constitution is the only constitution in Colorado history. It was ratified in 1876, when Colorado became a state, and it includes 29 articles. The Constitution protects freedom of speech to a greater degree than the U.S. Constitution. It also provides strong protections against discrimination, which were progressive for its era. Article V outlines the process for amending the Constitution by ballot initiatives, while Article XIX outlines the process for amending the Constitution by legislative referral or a constitutional convention. A legislatively referred amendment or a proposal for a constitutional convention will appear on a ballot if it is approved by two-thirds of each chamber of the Colorado General Assembly.
The Colorado Revised Statutes contain the laws passed by the Colorado legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Colorado Constitution are often interpreted by the Colorado Supreme Court and the Colorado Court of Appeals. The federal Colorado District Court also issues decisions that may affect Colorado residents. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the Colorado District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Tenth Circuit or from the Colorado Supreme Court.