Hickenlooper appoints Navarro to Colorado Court of Appeals
The second time was the charm for Anthony Navarro, who was just appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals by Governor John Hickenlooper to replace outgoing Judge Robert Russel, a former contender for Colorado Supreme Court justice (Navarro had previously applied for consideration to join the state’s frontline appellate court in 2008, with the endorsement of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association).
Governor Hickenlooper selected Navarro from a pool of 3 nominees (Robert T. Fishman of Denver, Russell H. Granger of Georgetown, and Anthony Navarro of Denver) picked by the State Judicial Nominating Commission last month.
Mr. Navarro (effective 3 November, Judge Navarro) will serve as one of 22 judges on the Colorado Court of Appeals (who rule on cases in 3-judge panels). His first term (considered a “provisional” term under the Colorado Constitution, Article VI Section 20) “expires” in 2014, when he will appear on the ballot for a “retention” vote:
A justice or judge appointed under the provisions of this section shall hold office for a provisional term of two years and then until the second Tuesday in January following the next general election.
Citizen participation in the judicial review and retention election process (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 – hold judicial office, instead of more politicians in black robes.
This is particularly important in reviewing the performance of statewide appellate court judges – many of whom all too frequently have exercised unrestrained power, in violation of constitutional limits on their authority, in order to advance a personal and/or political agenda.
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.
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.
Ultimately, though – it’s worth the effort.