Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex Martinez announces impending resignation, takes city job in Denver

Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex Martinez unexpectedly announced earlier today (Wednesday, August 24th 2011) that he intends to resign his seat on the state’s highest court in order to take a job with the City of Denver as Manager of Safety.

Justice Martinez, who was retained in office November 2010 with the lowest percentage of “retain” votes for an incumbent state supreme court justice in Colorado history (59%, narrowly edging current Chief Justice Michael Bender’s 60% and Justice Nancy Rice’s 62% for “worst ever;” incumbent supreme court justices are typically retained with 75-80% of the vote) could have continued to hold office for another decade.

Clear The Bench Colorado considers it a win for Colorado – and the damaged reputation of the Colorado judiciary – that he will not.

At the risk of once again being called “the skunk at the garden party” by the Denver Post, we point out the “troubling legacy” of Justice Martinez’s tenure on the bench (much as the “troubling legacy” of resigning Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey was reviewed at the time of her resignation – by the Post).

Justice Martinez was in fact one of the most reliable members of the highly political “Mullarkey Majority”, joining in or writing all of the key decisions over the past decade that made a mockery of constitutional jurisprudence in Colorado:

Justice Martinez’s legacy on the Colorado Supreme Court is indeed “troubling” – as noted in the Evaluations of Judicial Performance published prior to the November 2010 election.

While we bear Justice Martinez no personal animosity (by all accounts, he’s a nice guy) and wish him the best in his future endeavors as Denver Manager of Safety, we greet his departure from the Colorado Supreme Court with favor and look forward with guarded optimism to welcoming a new Colorado Supreme Court justice dedicated to upholding the Colorado Constitution and restoring the rule of law.

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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