Breach Notification Laws in Colorado: A Potential Model for Other States

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Mitchol Dunham[*]

Data breaches are slowly becoming a fact of life. In August 2013, Yahoo’s databases were breached, leaking the information of three billion accounts. At least 868 data breaches occurred in 2017 alone, revealing the records of well over 200 million people. Just recently, on December 11th, 2017, news outlets began to pick up on a list of 1.4 billion passwords in plain text that was circulating the internet. The regularity and cost of these breaches has reignited the drive to reform the laws governing privacy, both on the national and state level.

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A Small but Significant Reform that Could Have Put the Cap Back on Misdemeanor Sentencing for Colorado’s Noncitizens

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Mark Taylor Feero[*]

A power struggle between the states and the federal government has reached a heightened tension in the past year with the United States even filing a lawsuit against the State of California. This heightened tension has been brought on by the conflict between the current administration’s intensified efforts at deporting removable noncitizens and local law enforcement agencies that have instituted various policies to limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agents, more commonly known as “sanctuary cities” or “sanctuary states.” The debate over the permissibility of these policies has largely focused on the intersection between the supremacy of federal immigration law to preempt state laws that “create an obstacle to the full purposes and objectives of Congress” and the federal government’s inability to commandeer state officers to carry out federal commands. Importantly, the states maintain a key power free from potential federal interference, which comes in the form of the power to establish state criminal laws and appropriate sentencing outside of the immigration context. Federal immigration authorities frequently depend on the elements of these state criminal laws and their sentences to determine whether a specific conviction qualifies as a deportable offense.

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Arguments for a Balance: Martinez v. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission

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Joseph Kmetz

Colorado is a state of diverse industries including finance, real estate, agriculture, tourism, and natural resources. Alongside vital industries such as tourism, oil and natural gas development contributes to Colorado’s economy to a substantial degree. In a study in 2014, researchers at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business estimated that oil and gas contributed $31.7 billion to the Colorado economy and supported 102,700 jobs. Growth in both population and in oil and gas development along the Colorado Front Range has ripened the ground for conflict. One source of conflict is that many surface owners do not own the minerals underlying their land; mineral owners have an implied easement over the surface owners’ land to explore, produce, and develop the mineral estate. Although many oil and gas companies in Colorado compensate surface owners for drilling on their land, it is not a statutory requirement. Other conflicts arise from the temporary noise, light, and odor associated with oil and natural gas development. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) regulates oil and gas operations “to the extent necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare . . . taking into consideration cost-effectiveness and technical feasibility.” In Martinez v. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Colorado Supreme Court will consider whether the state interest in oil and gas development should be balanced with the “protection of public health, safety, and welfare,” or whether these must be protected as a prerequisite to oil and gas development in the state. This Article will suggest a standard that balances oil and gas development with these important public values is workable, preserves the integrity of the judicial system, and respects the role of natural resource development in Colorado’s economy.

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