Colorado Supreme Court Nominating Commission seeks applicants for pending Colorado Court of Appeals vacancy

The Colorado Supreme Court Nominating Commission is soliciting applicants to fill a pending vacancy on the Colorado Court of Appeals, due to the resignation of Judge Robert Russel (effective 3 Nov 2012).

Any qualified elector of the state of Colorado who is not a convicted felon and has been licensed to practice law in the state for 5 years may apply to become a judge (Colorado Constitution, Article VI Section 8, Qualifications of Judges).

From the vacancy announcement, as reported by Law Week Colorado:

Application forms are available from the office of the ex-officio chair of the nominating commission, Chief Justice Michael L. Bender, 101 W. Colfax, Suite 800, Denver, CO 80202; and the office of the district administrator of any of the 22 judicial districts. Applications also are available at www.courts.state.co.us/Careers/Judge.cfm.
One original, signed application form, along with an identical copy of the application stored as a PDF file must be received by the ex-officio chair by 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28. Late applications will not be considered.
Any person wishing to suggest a candidate to fill the vacancy may do so by letter to be submitted to any member of the nominating commission, with a copy to the ex-officio chair, no later than Aug. 21.
Applications will be kept confidential, except that the nominating commission shall disclose the names, work addresses, and work telephone numbers of the three nominees submitted to the governor.

The Colorado Supreme Court Nominating Commission will convene 24-25 September 2012 to review all applications, interview selected applicants, then vote to select 3 nominees who will be submitted to the governor for appointment to the Court of Appeals.  Once the 3 nominees have been selected, a public review and comment period is typically observed.  (Current example: Montrose County Court vacancy)

Citizen participation in the judicial nominating commissions (either at the district level or statewide) is essential to ensuring that good judges – who understand that their role is to fairly and impartially uphold and apply the law – are elevated to judicial office, instead of more politicians in black robes.

This is particularly important in selecting the next statewide appellate court judges – many of whom all too frequently have exercised unrestrained power in violation of constitutional limits on their authority.

Our judicial system depends more than any other branch of government on public trust and confidence that the law is being applied fairly and impartially for all citizens – that our judges are fulfilling their proper roles as referees upholding the rules rather than players attempting to score for their “team’s” agenda.

Our view: an informed citizenry and active citizen participation is vital in restoring accountability and transparency to the 3rd branch of state government, the judicial branch – most particularly for the Colorado Supreme Court.

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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