20 October 2006

No on 40 - Colorado

Why no on 40? I was for it at first until I talked with some attorneys who I trust (yes there are a few). Here is a synopsis as to why I am voting no on 40.

Amendment 40 is the proposal to limit the terms of our Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals judges to 10 years. Attorneys (conservatives) I have talked with say it is a bad idea for our State with unintended consequences.

(I) It forces out 5 or our 7 Supreme court justices all at once, and 7 of our Court of Appeals judges. They would be forced out regardless of the fact they have excellent performance reviews and many have been voted by the public to be retained.

(ii) It pushes out the good judges for no apparent reason. Our appellate judges are already accountable by being subject to judicial performance commission oversight; mandatory retirement; vote of the people for retention; and disciplinary procedures and rules. Further they are selected by a strenuous bi-partisan merit selection commission that recommends the best and brightest applicants of our profession for the position.

(iii) It will create a growing and unmanageable backlog in our highest courts. By forcing out half of our highest court judges at the same time, there is no plan to address the inefficiencies that will be created by this extreme void. The will result in delays and inexperience and will directly harm individuals, businesses, counties and cities across the State that need well reasoned and swift decisions on matters of importance to each.

(iv) Brings partisan politics into Colorado's courtrooms. This will give the next governor and then all future governors the power to appoint nearly the entire Supreme Court all at once, stacking the deck with judges who share their partisan political views be they liberal or conservative. This kind of partisan court stacking will happen every decade.

You can find most of the information on those opposed and additional materials at www.voteno40.org

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