Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice is dominant decider in reapportionment of state legislative districts following census
Need another reason why voting “NO” on the four Colorado Supreme Court justices up for re-election this year is the MOST important vote you can cast in this very important election year?
An editorial in this Sunday’s Pueblo Chieftain, “Chief justice wields clout over reapportionment” should make it clear:
Long after the concern about medical marijuana is settled, the 2010 and 2011 legislatures will be dealing with reapportionment of congressional and state legislative districts. One person – the chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court – will decide which political party will control the legislative districts. [emphasis added] …
The first four reapportionment commissioners are the Senate president, Senate minority leader, the House speaker and the House minority leader, or their designees. The next three are chosen by the governor who can pick all three from one political party.
The last four are chosen by the Supreme Court chief justice. No more than six of the 11 commission members can be from the same political party. The recent results have been Republicans 6-5 in 1982, Republican-Democratic tie, 5-5, one liberal independent in 1992 and Democrats 6-5 in 2002.
Every legislator who might be around in 2011 ought to obtain, keep and reread many times the decision in “Re Reapportionment of Colorado General Assembly.”
The “clout” of the Colorado Supreme Court in drawing up legislative districts doesn’t end with state-level reapportionment, however; it also extends to how Colorado citizens will be represented in Congress. Following the last census, when a lawsuit over a legislative redistricting plan sought to overturn the decisions of our elected officials, the Colorado Supreme Court declared itself part of the General Assembly in order to grab the power to draw up Congressional districts, despite the clear language of the Colorado Constitution. The Chieftain’s excellent editorial explains this too:
The state constitution, Article 5, provides: “The General Assembly shall divide the state into as many congressional districts as there are representatives . . . apportioned to the state by the Congress of the United States for the election of one representative to Congress from each district.”
If the General Assembly and the governor are unable to enact a plan for congressional redistricting, Denver District Court is forced to adopt a plan, as happened in Beauprez vs. Avalos in 2002. It is not subject to later revision by the Legislature until after the next census, according to the case Salazar vs Davidson in 2003.
Unless there is some change in civility, a District Court judge sitting in Denver may draw the 2012 congressional districts.
The Colorado Supreme Court – and particularly, the Chief Justice – exercises enormous power (“clout”) over the lives of Colorado citizens. The current majority has repeatedly demonstrated that it does not exercise this power with restraint or consideration for your constitutional rights – ruling consistently against individual protections and in favor of expanded government power. Upholding tax increases (such as the “Mill Levy Tax Freeze” property tax increase, or the “Dirty Dozen” new tax laws) imposed without the required vote of the people, enabling taxes to be collected under the guise of “fees” (such as the Colorado Car Tax), expanding eminent domain abuse to seize people’s property, and grabbing the (legislative) power to draw up voting districts – this court is acting like rulers, with you as the subjects; re-writing the laws, instead of upholding them.
Be a citizen, not a subject – exercise your right to vote “NO” this November on the four ‘unjust justices’ of the Colorado Supreme Court’s “Mullarkey Majority”- (Justices 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 home and business from seizure by rapacious governments, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of suffering under rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.” Support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!) and your contributions – and vote “NO” on retaining these unjust justices on the bench for another 10-year term!