More partisan spin and misrepresentations of Attorney General Suthers statement on Colorado Supreme Court justices

Political enemies of Attorney General John Suthers are attempting to use his recent principled (albeit uncharacteristically bold) statement that he would vote “NO” on retaining 3 of the 4 Colorado Supreme Court justices on the ballot (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, & Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) as a political club with which to rhetorically beat him.

Some of the more radical comments have gone so far to call for his impeachment.

For expressing an opinion?  Now there’s a fine respect for constitutional free speech rights…

Calling for the Attorney General to be impeached is likewise protected free speech (if more than a little bit silly), but many of the attacks have intentionally misrepresented the statement in order to score political points.  In other words, they lied.

One such intentional misrepresentation of the statement was advanced by state Senator Morgan Carroll – a Democrat, and therefore presumably a political enemy of Republican Attorney General Suthers.  In a recent blog post entitled “The Role of the Attorney General” Carroll asserted that the AG stated that

“he would not vote for retention for any of the Colorado Supreme Court Justices who were originally appointed by a Democrat.

The proper measure for retention of a judge is their judicial performance – not political party.  The Judicial Performance Commission makes these reports available on non-partisan criteria pertaining the experience of lawyers, parties and public with the Judges.

For the states highest law enforcement officer to call for a partisan purge and partisan stacking of the bench raises serious questions.

We need to protect the importance of this office to ensure that it does not get subverted to a partisan agenda on either side…”

Carroll’s polemic intentionally misrepresents both the AG’s statement and the rationale for his position, in a blatant attempt at partisan spin.  Suthers did NOT state that he “would not vote for retention for any of the Colorado Supreme Court Justices who were originally appointed by a Democrat.”  In fact, he stated that he would vote “NO” on 3 of the 4, and “yes” on the other (ALL Democrat appointments) on the basis of his perception of the constitutionality of their rulings, NOT partisan affiliation.  Accusations of a “partisan purge and partisan stacking of the bench” are knowingly false statements – perhaps the AG has grounds for a libel suit against Sen. Carroll?

We can assert with confidence that Carroll’s statement was knowingly false not only because she cited as the source for her attack the Post article  (AG Suthers may not back 3 on state Supreme Court) which, although itself containing some spin, accurately reported the AG’s statement.

We can also assert with confidence that Carroll knows the facts because we told her so – commenting on her post (which comment she refused to publish – OK, her site, her rules – CTBC also moderates comments, but allows both positive and negative comments to be published).  We afforded her the courtesy of waiting a day to respond; instead, she published only a comment favorable to her attack (calling for the AG’s impeachment).

Our response to Senator Carroll’s possibly libelous, certainly disingenuous statement:

Senator Carroll: Clear The Bench Colorado agrees with your statement that “The proper measure for retention of a judge is their judicial performance – not political party.”  Unfortunately, the Judicial Performance Commission reviews – despite the generally good intentions of the participants in the process – have NOT provided an effective, substantive evaluation of the performance of our courts, particularly at the highest levels.

The Denver Post article has done readers a disservice by casting the retention elections in partisan terms. This is absolutely NOT a partisan issue – we can (and apparently do) agree on that.  Rather, it is a matter of the justices upholding the Constitution and the rule of law (important to ALL parties).

Also, it is inaccurate to assert that the Attorney General stated that “he would not vote for retention for any of the Colorado Supreme Court Justices who were originally appointed by a Democrat.”  In fact, he stated that he would vote “NO” on 3 out of the 4 justices appointed by Governor Romer (and would vote yes on Justice Nancy Rice). The Denver Post article said as much.

We need to protect the importance of our highest court to ensure that is does not get subverted to a partisan agenda on either side. Unfortunately, at least 3 out of the 4 justices (CTBC would argue that it’s 4 for 4) have consistently displayed in their rulings that they endorse such a role for the judiciary.  This behavior should not be tolerated from our justices – vote “NO” on their retention in November 2010. Clear The Bench, Colorado!

Clear The Bench Colorado exists not to attack our institutions, but to defend them – including the “Missouri Plan” that mixes judicial appointments with retention elections, in a well-intentioned attempt to minimize politicization of the judiciary.  Unfortunately, the politicization of the Colorado judiciary has long since been perpetrated by the unconstitutional rulings and pursuit of personal agendas by the four ’unjust justices’ of the Mullarkey Majority (Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who are facing the voters in this November’s retention elections.

Exercise YOUR right to vote “NO” on the 4 ‘unjust justices’ of the Mullarkey Majority (Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your homes and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of suffering rule by an oligarchy of activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Please help support Clear The Bench Colorado with your own comments (Sound Off!), your contributions, and your “NO” vote on retaining these unjust justices in November 2010!

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