Target:
Colorado government
Region:
United States of America
Website:
www.judicialintegrity.org

Colorado's judicial branch lacks accountability and transparency. It is filled with conflicts of interest.

Colorado's Commission on Judicial Discipline dismisses 97% of complaints against judges. The rate is so incredibly high because Colorado's Supreme Court writes the rules for the commission, and the executive director of the commission reports to the Supreme Court. The proceedings before the commission are confidential. Proceedings before a commission that disciplines judges should be public in Colorado like they are in 35 other states.

Voters receive insufficient information about judges. The commissions on judicial performance that make recommendations to voters about judges don't know whether the judges they're recommending have been disciplined. The commissions have no investigative power and do not receive background checks on the judges. The commissions are not required to hold public hearings. And judges do not receive annual reviews by the commissions. The infrequency of reviews and the commissions' lack of information ultimately turns into the public's lack of information regarding judges.


We, the undersigned, call on the Colorado government to make the judicial branch more transparent and accountable. We demand that conflicts of interest in the judicial branch be removed.

Judges are public servants. The public has the right to know about proceedings regarding the discipline of judges. Judges should not write the rules for the judicial discipline commission. The executive director of the judicial discipline commission should not report to a judge.

Voters need more information about judges. Background checks of judges should regularly be performed and include motor vehicle histories, criminal histories and a review of the financial disclosures filed by a judge. No rules should be made limiting the information a judicial performance commission can receive about a judge. Performance commission members should be free to vote their conscience. Performance commissions should hold public hearings where the public can comment about a judge. Reviews of judges should be more frequent and made public at the time the review is complete. The state performance commission, which makes the rules for all performance commission to follow, should be representational and include one member of each judicial district.

We support the efforts of The Judicial Integrity Project to increase transparency, enhance accountability and remove the conflicts of interest in the judicial branch. Colorado needs judicial reform.

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