Legislature Fails to pass Congressional Redistricting bill – once again abdicating responsibility to the Colorado Supreme Court

For the second consecutive decade, Colorado is treated to the sad spectacle of the state Senate majority abdicating their constitutional responsibility to pass a Congressional redistricting bill, and intentionally sending the issue to the courts to decide.

The plan has apparently been in the works for at least a year – with the 2010 session closing out with the “Mary-mandering” bill (HB1408) enabling the courts to consider “non-neutral factors” such as partisan affiliation when evaluating redistricting plans.

Senate Democrats even filibustered their own bill in order to avoid a vote…

Although no one said it would be easy, it IS the responsibility of the General Assembly – and no other body or branch of government, according to our state Constitution (Article V, Section 44) – to do the job.

In fact, there are only TWO mandatory responsibilities of the legislature:

  1. annually, draw up a state budget; and
  2. decennially, draw up Congressional district boundaries.

Senate Democrats intentionally abdicated their constitutional responsibility, to an imperial judiciary – failing to do the job they were elected to perform, and letting down the state’s voters.

We have never voted to be ruled by judges – yet tonight, another piece of control and accountability has been surrendered to the judiciary by a feckless Senate majority.

This intentional politicization of the judiciary – increasingly seen as acting as just another category of politician, distinguished from the other branches only by a unique mode of dress – is corrosive to our institutions, and undermines the sanctity of the rule of law.

Now more than ever – it’s time to support judicial accountability and Clear The Bench, Colorado!

Additional references:

  • Constitutional Provisions Controlling Reapportionment/Redistricting (official Colorado state website, which collates relevant constitutional language on Congressional redistricting and state legislative reapportionment)
  • Redistricting in Colorado (Ballotpedia site – although the site contains several errors, some of which are being corrected, it does provide useful context and historical background on past restricting battles.  As with any Wiki site – contributions come from a variety of sources and are frequently edited – proceed with some skepticism)

Clear The Bench Colorado will, with your support, continue to promote transparency and accountability in the Colorado judiciary, informing the public to increase awareness of the substantial public policy implications of an unrestrained activism and political agendas in the courts.  We will continue to work to educate voters and provide information of relevance related to the judicial branch, and to provide useful and substantive evaluations of judicial performance.

However, we can’t do it alone –  we need your continued support; via your comments (Sound Off!) and, yes, your contributions.  Freedom isn’t free –nor is it always easy to be a Citizen, not a subject.

Ultimately, though – it’s worth the effort.

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