Back in 2010, then-Gov. Bill Ritter, D-Colo., signed into law a bill passed by the Colorado Legislature that instantly cost thousands of Coloradans their livelihoods. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn tossed it out.
…Blackburn ruled that the law imposes “an undue burden on interstate commerce,” making it unconstitutional.
“Enforcing a reporting requirement on out-of-state retailers will, by definition, discriminate against the out-of-state retailers by imposing unique burdens on those retailers,” Blackburn wrote. [source, emphasis added]
The important court decision was also covered in The Denver Post yesterday:
The law had already been temporarily blocked in federal court last year, but U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn’s ruling Friday permanently handcuffs it.
“I conclude that the veil provided by the words of the act and the regulations is too thin to support the conclusion that the act and the regulations regulate in-state and out-of-state retailers even-handedly,” Blackburn wrote in his opinion.
The law and the rules to carry it out “impose an undue burden on interstate commerce” and are unconstitutional, the judge wrote. [source, emphasis added]
Regardless of the predominant focus on the “undue burdens” on “out-of-state retailers”, and not much said about affiliate marketers (the group that suffers most from such laws), this ruling sets an extremely important precedent for the whole affiliate/advertising tax saga.