Judge Blocks Enforcement of Ethics Rules

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Denver (AP) A spokesman says Governor Bill Ritter will appeal a Denver judge's order blocking enforcement of part of Colorado's new ethics rules, saying they “went well beyond what was anticipated or intended.''

Ritter spokesman Evan Dreyer says they may appeal directly to the Colorado Supreme Court.

Denver District Court Judge Christina M. Habas issued a preliminary injunction against provisions in the rules than ban gifts, citing ambiguous language.

The rules are contained in Amendment 41, a constitutional amendment approved by voters last November that bans lobbyists from buying meals or any gifts worth more than $50 for state lawmakers.

The amendment also bans gifts to any state employee or their families worth more than $50. Employees of cities or counties with their own ethics guidelines are exempt.

Opponents had asked Habas for an injunction to block enforcement of the rules until they could get a court ruling on whether they are constitutional.

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