Your Show

CU Board of Regents statewide candidates both support new legislation to allow the university to again ban guns on campus

Despite a long, hard-fought court battle to secure the same rights for Colorado citizens at the University of Colorado applying elsewhere in the state (under state law and the Colorado Constitution) to lawfully carry concealed weapons for personal protection, the University of Colorado administration and the CU Board of Regents have sought to end-run and undermine the recent Colorado Supreme Court ruling striking down CU’s comprehensive campus gun ban. Recently, the University of Colorado revised its formerly comprehensive gun ban policies to more restricted in scope, but still legally suspect, policies imposing a gun ban in student housing and at ticketed campus events (policies that are likely to draw an additional, and costly, legal challenge – and, as noted in a previous guest commentary on this site (CU Regents Unwise to Consider Residence Hall Gun Ban,

The courts do tend to take a dim view of those who try to squash fundamental rights.

For that reason, this year’s elections to the CU Board of Regents hold more than casual interest to those concerned about constitutional and statutory rights to “keep and bear arms.” Unfortunately, on the gun rights issue, both candidates for the single statewide (“at-large”) CU Regent seat appear to share similar anti- gun rights views. Appearing together on the 9News “Your Show” television program Sunday morning (23 Sept 2012), both candidates were asked about their views on the recent Colorado Supreme Court ruling striking down the CU Gun Ban, and more generally about the issue of concealed carry on campus.

“Should the CU Board of Regents accept the ruling and allow for those over 21 with a license to carry or should they continue trying to work around it?” (question submitted by Kris West) “What is your position on concealed carry on campus? Do you agree with proposed legislative attempts to outlaw the right in the face of the Colorado Supreme Court decision that the university has no power to do so?” (question submitted by Joe Mierzwa)

Democrat CU Board of Regents candidate Steve Ludwig reiterated his position in opposition to allowing licensed concealed-carry permit-holders to exercise their rights on university-administered property, although he did concede that “CU lost a lawsuit, so we have to allow concealed carry on campus.”

Ludwig, at least, was consistent.

Republican CU Board of Regents candidate Brian Davidson, however, seems to have flip-flopped on the position he took during the primary campaign (during which he claimed to “support the 2nd Amendment” and licensed concealed carry) and joined Ludwig in supporting legislation (such as a bill proposed by Boulder Democrat Claire Levy) allowing the university to again ban guns (and violate the rights of all Coloradoans) on campus:

Chris Vanderveen (9News YourShow Host): “Do you want the legislature to get involved, Brian?” (video at 5:24)

Brian Davidson, Republican candidate for CU Regent At-Large: “I do, and I’d actually take a little bit different stance – that is, having this issue on each board table across the state of Colorado, I think is simply going to be a fight, it’s going to have, uh… induce chaos, um, and take away from the issues at hand, of affordable education, quality education, uh, et cetera. I’d actually like the legislature to decide whether or not higher education institutions should or should not be exempt from that, uh, from that bill, and take the debate away from the board table.”

Of course, the Colorado legislature already DID “decide whether or not higher education institutions should or should not be exempt from that, uh, from that bill” when passing the Colorado Concealed Carry Statute (C.R.S. 18-12-214) in 2003 with a definitive “NOT exempt” – as confirmed by both the March 2012 Colorado Supreme Court ruling, and the more sweeping Colorado Court of Appeals April 2010 ruling:

Institutions of higher education not exempt from the express authorization of permittees to carry concealed handguns “in all areas of the state”. The concealed carry act, § § 18-12-201 to 18-12-216, satisfies the “unless otherwise provided by law” provision of article VIII, section 5(2), of the state constitution by manifesting a clear and unmistakable intent to subject the entire state to a single statutory scheme regulating concealed handgun carry, subject to specified exceptions. Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, LLC v. Regents of Univ. of Colo., — P.3d — (Colo. App. 2010).

CU’s Gun Ban policies needlessly endanger the safety of students, staff, faculty, and visitors by putting them at greater risk of criminal predation, as ”gun free zone” = “target-rich environment” for criminals.

The continued support of the CU Board of Regents – both the current majority and candidates for election this year – for policies and legislation violating the rights of a segment of Colorado citizens (CU students, staff, faculty, and campus visitors) is deeply disturbing.

Allowing responsible adults to exercise a fundamental constitutional right – affirming the right of licensed adult concealed-carry permit holders to responsibly exercise their inherent right of armed self-defense – is not only good law, it is good policy.

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.

Friday Funnies: …and a Leftist Judiciary!

Welcome to the 2010 Christmas edition of the Clear The Bench Colorado Friday Funnies!

In all of the tumult, toil, and trouble of the weeks leading up to the 2010 judicial retention elections (and in the weeks following), Clear The Bench Colorado has been far too serious, falling short in our mission to amuse, in addition to our successful mission to educate & inform (as 9News reporter Adam Schrager recently commented at a forum evaluating this year’s election coverage, “the information was there if voters chose to get it” (referring in particular to Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold’s appearance on the Your Show television program) and CTBC’s Evaluations of Judicial Performance.  Sadly, it’s been almost three months since the last edition of the CTBC Friday Funnies!

Although remaining mindful of what’s at stake – holding our judiciary accountable for serial violations of our constitutional rights (to vote on taxes, even when taxes are called “fees”; keep our own property; bear arms in self-defense; and almost too many others to list); highlighting the judiciary’s dominant role in drawing up state legislative and congressional districts; and upholding the integrity of the judicial retention election process against the consortium of legal-establishment special-interest groups who attempted (and may have succeeded in) buying the election for their buddies on the bench in violation of Colorado campaign finance law – is serious business, all work and no play makes Matty a dull boy.

While receiving the news earlier this week that “Colorado Ethics Watch” (CEW, pronounced “sue” – it’s what they do) was again ordered to pay Clear The Bench Colorado thousands of $ in legal fees (owed since the judge’s original ruling in July found their complaint “frivolous, groundless, and vexatious”) brought a smile, the following video clip (although targeting the national level) elicited a hearty laugh:

…and a Leftist Judiciary!

While still afflicted with the (black-robed) ghosts of Christmas past in our Christmas present, we can still act to save our Christmas future. Continue to support Clear The Bench Colorado with comments (Sound Off!) and contributions. Freedom isn’t free -nor is it always easy to be a Citizen, not a subject.

Ultimately, though – it’s worth the effort.

Halloween Recap: Dubofsky called out in Denver Post editorial, buddies of incumbent bench-sitters vandalize CTBC signs

Clear The Bench Colorado has more than once criticized the dearth of coverage provided by the Denver Post on the “long train of abuses and usurpations” perpetrated by the Colorado Supreme Court; we have on occasion been frustrated at the limited opportunity to respond in print to some of the most spurious accusations and misinformation purveyed by guest commentaries (particularly a June commentary attacking the right of citizens to criticize the courts, and most recently, last Sunday’s attack piece by former justice Jean Dubofsky which presented a litany of distortions, misrepresentations, and outright untruths in attacking the judicial accountability group Clear The Bench Colorado.

However, CTBC has not shirked in giving credit where credit is due – and today’s (Sunday) Denver Post editorial (Vincent Carroll’s “A magnificent abstraction“) not only noted:

Just days before the election, the Colorado Supreme Court has given voters yet another reason why two justices up for retention should be bounced from the bench. The high court, in one of those quirky rulings for which it is now notorious, reversed the conviction of a man who used another person’s Social Security number to obtain an auto loan.

The editorial went on to take former justice Dubofsky to task for making deliberately false “suggestions” in her previous week’s guest commentary:

Even the modest efforts of the group Clear the Bench, which urges a “no” vote on all three justices, has provoked charges from establishment figures that it seeks to “politicize” the judiciary. In a recent column in The Denver Post, former Supreme Court justice Jean Dubofsky repeatedly suggested that Clear the Bench promotes contested judicial elections – which simply isn’t the case. [Ed. emphasis added]

Dubofsky’s article, her appearance (without prior notice) to debate me on the ‘Your Show with Adam Schrager’ television program the previous week, and the massive ($85,000+) spending on numerous advertisements in support of judicial incumbents by a consortium of legal-establishment special-interest groups (in the process, committing several violations of Colorado campaign finance law) highlights the extent to which the legal/judicial complex has rallied to preserve their monopoly of control over the courts:

While Colorado’s judicial retention system is superior to electing judges, most voters know next to nothing about jurists up for retention, and the legal establishment does its best to keep us in the dark. Only a lavishly funded campaign to dislodge a justice would have a chance of success.

I’m somewhat more optimistic than the view expressed in the editorial about the 3 judicial incumbents maintaining their seats; all across the state, people “get it” that their rights have been serially violated by the incumbent majority on the Colorado Supreme Court.  CTBC has been absolutely flooded with online comments, E-mails, and even phone calls seeking more information on which to base a decision for voting on judges (at all levels); the distrust and dismissal of the review commission’s rubber-stamp “retain” recommendations published in the “Blue Book” is palpable.  Tuesday’s results will tell if the legal/judicial complex will have been able to buy their incumbent allies another term on the bench, or if a feisty and underfunded grassroots effort will succeed in dislodging a few “politicians in black robes.”

In related news…

Apparently the big spenders in the legal/judicial complex are not the only ones opposing the efforts of Clear The Bench Colorado to inform the voting public of our right to vote NO on unjust justices…

In addition to the ongoing theft of Clear The Bench Colorado yard signs (apparently fairly standard practice in campaigns) – reportedly among the most-stolen (hey, it’s nice to be popular), some of the larger CTBC signs were vandalized sometime on Halloween (I’m reasonably sure it wasn’t trick-or-treaters).  In what was apparently an orchestrated effort, vandals pulled down some 4×8 signs in the Southeast Metro area, damaging the mounting stakes (which took some effort).  Police reports have been filed; any witnesses are encouraged to contact CTBC to assist in locating the perpetrators.

(Reports of 3 black-robed suspects fleeing the scene are probably exaggerated, although the image of black-robed judges and/or pinstripe-suited lawyers sneaking away from the dirty deed is comical…)

img_0432

Be a citizen, not a subject – get informed, then exercise your right to vote “NO” this November on the four (er, three remaining) ‘unjust justices’ of the Colorado Supreme Court’s “Mullarkey Majority” – (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, soon minus Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey,  who’s resigning rather than face the voters ) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your home or business against seizure via eminent domain abuse, your right to be fairly represented in the legislature and Congress, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of suffering under rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Continue to support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!) and contributions – and vote “NO” on giving these unjust justices another 10-year term!

Underdog fights back against Colorado legal establishment juggernaut; Clear The Bench Colorado files campaign finance complaint against legal-special-interest-group consortium

Clear The Bench Colorado has been under sustained attack by a number of well-funded special-interest groups for a number of months; from the politically-motivated “campaign finance complaint” filed by “Colorado Ethics Watch” (CEW, pronounced “sue” – it’s what they do) on 5 May 2010 (ruled to be “frivolous, groundless, and vexatious” on 21 July by a judge who also awarded CTBC thousands in legal fees - totaling $23, 712.50, which CEW is now refusing to pay), followed up by a second round of attacks in which they finally got a judge to see things their way (contrary to all logic, and even against the testimony by the Elections director of the Office of Secretary of State).

More recently, Clear The Bench Colorado has been falsely accused of wanting to scrap Colorado’s system of judicial selection & retention to push for partisan elections for judges (most prominently by former justice Jean Dubofsky, who insinuated as much in a televised debate and then, even after being corrected, proceeded to spread the false allegations in print).  We’ve even been accused of being a shill for “secret and powerful special interests” seeking to inject ‘big money’ into judicial elections (which is a total laugh, as anyone who’s seen CTBC’s campaign finance reports can attest).  CTBC’s finances are completely open and accessible to the public, by the way, in contrast to the ‘Colorado Judiciary Project’, a special-interest group which refuses to disclose finances, which is sponsoring Dubofsky’s appearances and publications).

In fact, pretty much all of the entrenched legal-establishment special-interest groups have brought out the big guns against Clear The Bench Colorado.

Why?

For reminding Colorado voters of our right to vote in judicial retention elections, providing a substantive evaluation of the performance of judicial incumbents at the highest levels (particularly for the incumbent Colorado Supreme Court justices), and urging voters to exercise their rights on the ballot.

Over the last few months (since August), a consortium of the entrenched legal-establishment special-interest groups has been running advertisements in print, on the radio and on television to convince Colorado voters that “all is well” with our judicial incumbents; in fact, this special-interest-group consortium has spent over $85,000 to run over 4,000 ads on radio and television in September and August alone – in support of the incumbents at the top levels (pretty soon, you’re talking real money).

Now, there’s nothing wrong with spending money on advertisements; but this special-interest group hasn’t been following the rules…

Other groups (including Clear The Bench Colorado) engaging in political advocacy or electioneering communications (talking about candidates on the ballot) must file as a political committee with the Office of Secretary of State.  These organizations – either individually or collectively – have NOT filed the required registration, nor have they filed the required reports.  They have also collected and spent money FAR above the $525 contribution limit that applies to contributions for political committees.

The rules apply to both sides in any contested issue or campaign.

Tens of thousands of dollars have been spent by these organizations with no accountability or transparency, in sharp contrast to Clear the Bench Colorado - which has followed the ever-changing law to the letter (despite all the changes) - while conducting similar political advocacy activities.

In a clear case of “what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander,” Clear the Bench Colorado simply wants these organizations held to the same legal standard as is everyone else in the state.

To that end, we have filed a campaign finance complaint against this consortium of entrenched legal-establishment special-interest groups (collectively and as individual organizations) to ensure that they follow the same rules as everyone else.

If Clear the Bench receives a favorable judgment, these organizations will be subject to fees ($50 per day that they didn’t file) as well as fines of 2-5 times the contribution totals above and beyond the $525 contribution limit for a political committee (which, since these groups spent at least $85,000, will add up to a hefty sum).

These groups, with armies of accountants and lawyers at their beck and call, should (and do) know better.  Apparently, they thought that they could get away with violating the law, since CTBC’s resources (and ability to challenge their activities) have been strained almost to the breaking point.  However, they messed with the wrong guy…

Clear The Bench Colorado may be the underdog in this fight – but it’s not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, but the size of the fight in the dog.  CTBC doesn’t have armies of attorneys and accountants on call – but CTBC is… an Army of One.

Be a citizen, not a subject – get informed, then exercise your right to vote “NO” this November on the four (er, three remaining) ‘unjust justices’ of the Colorado Supreme Court’s “Mullarkey Majority” – (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, soon minus Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey,  who’s resigning rather than face the voters ) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your home or business against seizure via eminent domain abuse, your right to be fairly represented in the legislature and Congress, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of suffering under rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Continue to support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!) and contributions – and vote “NO” on giving these unjust justices another 10-year term!

One More Week to Vote – Clear The Bench Colorado, judicial retention elections and the Colorado Supreme Court in the news

Only one more week to exercise your right to vote NO on 3 incumbent Colorado Supreme Court justices seeking another 10-year term…

Over the last week or so, Clear The Bench Colorado and the judicial retention elections for the 3 incumbent Colorado Supreme Court justices on this year’s ballot (Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, and Nancy Rice) have been in the news a lot.

On Sunday (October 17th), Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold appeared on the Your Show television program (moderated by Adam Schrager), debating former Colorado Supreme Court justice (and current full-time activist) Jean Dubofsky, representing the “Colorado Judiciary Project” (a legal-establishment special-interest group formed by Democrat state party attorney and  Mark Grueskin.

On Monday (October 18th), the Colorado Supreme Court took aim at gun rights in Colorado by accepting the CU Regents appeal of a Colorado Court of Appeals ruling overturning an illegal ban of licensed concealed-carry on CU property (a policy that is violating state law).

On Thursday (October 21st), Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold spoke at the Southern Colorado Tea Party, recorded and made available courtesy of FreedomTalkNet.

On Friday morning (Oct 22nd), Clear The Bench Colorado released our list of endorsements (which has since grown – and continues to grow)

On Friday evening, October 22nd (rebroadcast Monday afternoon, October 25th), Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold appeared on the Devil’s Advocate television program (hosted by Jon Caldara) in what was originally planned as a debate (but the other side chickened out).

On Saturday (October 23rd), Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold was published nationwide in Human Events magazine (“Fighting the “Progressive” Takeover of State Courts“)

On Sunday (October 24th), the Denver Post published a guest commentary by Jean Dubofsky (“Keep integrity of Colorado’s courts“) attacking Clear The Bench Colorado with a veritable litany of misleading insinuations and demonstrably false statements.  After requesting the opportunity  to respond or rebut the falsehoods (as has been the policy of the Post in the past when a person or group is directly attacked) but being refused, CTBC published our response (“RESTORE Integrity to Colorado Courts“) earlier today (Wednesday).

On Monday (October 25th), the Associated Press ran a story about Clear The Bench Colorado (“Clear The Bench Tests Judicial Retention System”) that was picked up in newspapers around the country, from San Francisco (Examiner) to Indiana (Daily Journal) to West Virginia (Charleston Gazette), to name the most geographically dispersed examples; nationally in USA Today; and yes, even in the Denver Post.

On Tuesday (October 26th), Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold appeared on the Luke Shilts Show (1310 AM KFKA) at 5-5:30 PM (podcast pending).

Later Tuesday evening, Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold appeared on the Michael Brown show (850 KOA) from 7-7:30PM – if you missed it (or just want to hear it again) Listen to the show.

What’s in store for the final week before elections close?  Stay tuned for more exciting news…

Be a citizen, not a subject – get informed, then exercise your right to vote “NO” this November on the four (er, three remaining) ‘unjust justices’ of the Colorado Supreme Court’s “Mullarkey Majority” – (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, soon minus Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey,  who’s resigning rather than face the voters ) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your home or business against seizure via eminent domain abuse, your right to be fairly represented in the legislature and Congress, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of suffering under rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Continue to support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!) and contributions – and vote “NO” on giving these unjust justices another 10-year term!

RESTORE Integrity to Colorado Courts – rebuttal of Dubofsky Denver Post attack piece

This last Sunday’s Denver Post ran a guest commentary by former Colorado Supreme Court justice Jean Dubofsky (“Keep integrity of Colorado’s courts“),  which was – at best – severely “reality-challenged” and at worst a blatant and libelous distortion of Clear The Bench Colorado‘s stated positions.  Unsurprisingly, the Post refused to publish our response, which follows:

RESTORE Integrity to Colorado Courts

Former Colorado Supreme Court justice Jean Dubofsky’s guest commentary in Sunday’s Denver Post presented a litany of distortions, misrepresentations, and outright untruths in attacking the judicial accountability group Clear The Bench Colorado.

Dubofsky alleges that “secret and powerful special interests… would be lining up to dump their millions into ads picking our judges.”

Too late!  They already are – but the millions (well, hundred thousand or so) are being spent on behalf of the judicial incumbents, and to maintain the status quo lack of transparency and accountability.

A recent Law Week article counted over 4,000 TV & radio ads run by a consortium of legal establishment special-interest groups, spending just under $100,000 in August and September alone, promoting the recommendations to “retain”(vote yes) all of the Colorado Supreme Court justices on this year’s ballot.

It’s a fiction to claim that our current system is not already dominated by well-heeled special interest groups – only, these groups have spent their money secretly, away from the scrutiny put on “campaign” spending. (See “The Myth of Money-Free Merit Selection and Retention“).

The biggest whopper, though, is Dubofsky’s assertion that “Clear the Bench wants to destroy 40-plus years of integrity and impartiality in Colorado’s judicial system” setting up her insinuations that CTBC supports a return to contested elections for judicial office.

Clear The Bench Colorado has never advocated for a return to contested judicial elections in Colorado – and Dubofsky knows this.  I made CTBC’s position clear to her in person both during and after her debate with me a week before (on the Your Show TV program with Adam Schrager).

Alleging otherwise is a knowingly false statement, which highlights the desperate lengths to which Dubofsky and friends seek to distort the facts with strawman arguments.

Clear The Bench Colorado is working within the bounds of the existing system to provide substantive information to voters on which to base an informed decision – because the commission “reviews” have failed to hold the incumbents accountable to the Constitution and the rule of law.

Coloradans have a right to vote on judges – and deserve better information than the rubber-stamp “retain” recommendations the commissions and “Blue Book” provide.

Ultimately, it’s your choice – inform yourself (the CTBC website includes both our evaluations AND a link to the commission reviews – we invite the comparison).  Be a Citizen, not a subject… and vote! (NO!)

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold discusses judicial retention elections on TV – Devil’s Advocate with Jon Caldara

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold appeared on the Devil’s Advocate TV program (with host Jon Caldara) this past Friday, 22 October 2010 at 8:30 and again (rebroadcast) on Monday, 25 October at 1:30 PM, to discuss judicial retention elections and the drive to hold 3 incumbent Colorado Supreme Court justices (Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, and Nancy Rice) who are seeking another 10-year term in office accountable to the voters in this year’s elections.

Despite the intent to have a debate on the issue, the other side failed to show up (despite numerous invitations, to all the usual suspects).  Apparently after CTBC’s Matt Arnold had the better of former Colorado Supreme Court justice (and current full-time activist) Jean Dubofsky, representing the “Colorado Judiciary Project” (a legal-establishment special-interest group formed by Democrat state party attorney Mark Grueskin) in their debate on Adam Schrager’s Your Show the previous Sunday (which was NOT originally scheduled as a debate; Dubofsky showed up with no advance notice to CTBC) they didn’t feel confident in their ability to win a fair fight.

Or perhaps they realized that the more information the voters have, the more they are likely to vote NO on the incumbent justices on the ballot (a fact validated in CTBC’s August survey).  These special-interest groups are counting on (and promoting) voter ignorance – pushing the rubber-stamp “reviews” (which again kept up their historical record of 100% “retain” recommendations for Colorado Supreme Court justices this year) of the performance review commissions.  That’s right; Colorado Supreme Court justices “reviewed” by the commissions have received a “retain” vote 100% of the time.

Fortunately, Colorado voters now have a more complete and substantive source of information about the performance of the incumbent Colorado Supreme Court justices appearing on this year’s ballot: CTBC’s Evaluations of Judicial Performance scorecard, which breaks down the votes of each justice in key constitutional cases (along with complete references, analysis, and commentary on each case).

The discussion covered the voting records of the incumbent justices, the established selection and “review” process (along with the weaknesses in the current process & need for greater transparency and accountability reforms) and the massively funded electioneering effort by a consortium of legal-establishment special-interest groups to promote a “yes” vote for the judicial incumbents.

The video is broken into 3 10-minute segments, as follows:

For what may be the first time in Colorado history, voters have the opportunity to review substantive information on judicial performance and have the ability to make an informed decision about whether or not to hold incumbent justices (and judges) accountable for that performance as they seek an additional term of office (for the Colorado Supreme Court justices, they are asking the voters for another 10 YEARS on the bench).

Be a citizen, not a subject – get informed, then exercise your right to vote “NO” this November on the four (er, three remaining) ‘unjust justices’ of the Colorado Supreme Court’s “Mullarkey Majority” – (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, soon minus Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey,  who’s resigning rather than face the voters ) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your home or business against seizure via eminent domain abuse, your right to be fairly represented in the legislature and Congress, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of suffering under rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Continue to support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!) and contributions – and vote “NO” on giving these unjust justices another 10-year term!

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold discusses judicial retention elections on TV – Your Show with Adam Schrager

Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold appeared on the Your Show with Adam Schrager (9News reporter) TV program this past Sunday, 17 October 2010 at (broadcast on KTVD at 10:30 AM), to discuss judicial retention elections and the drive to hold 3 incumbent Colorado Supreme Court justices (Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, and Nancy Rice) who are seeking another 10-year term in office accountable to the voters in this year’s elections.

CTBC’s Matt Arnold was joined in studio (not known in advance) by former Colorado Supreme Court justice (and current full-time activist) Jean Dubofsky, representing the “Colorado Judiciary Project” (a legal-establishment special-interest group formed by Democrat state party attorney and  Mark Grueskin, who may be attempting to curry favor with the incumbent justices before whom he frequently appears).  Dubofsky attempted to defend the embattled incumbents and promote the rubber-stamp “reviews” (which again kept up their historical record of 100% “retain” recommendations for Colorado Supreme Court justices this year) of the performance review commissions.  That’s right; Colorado Supreme Court justices “reviewed” by the commissions have received a “retain” vote 100% of the time.

Fortunately, Colorado voters now have a more complete and substantive source of information about the performance of the incumbent Colorado Supreme Court justices appearing on this year’s ballot: CTBC’s Evaluations of Judicial Performance scorecard, which breaks down the votes of each justice in key constitutional cases (along with complete references, analysis, and commentary on each case).

The discussion covered the voting records of the incumbent justices, the established “review” process (along with the weaknesses in the current process & need for greater transparency and accountability reforms) and the massively funded electioneering effort by the Colorado Bar Association and other legal-establishment special-interest groups to promote a “yes” vote for the judicial incumbents.

The video is broken into 2 10-minute segments, as follows:

Segment 1:

Segment 2:

For what may be the first time in Colorado history, voters have the opportunity to review substantive information on judicial performance and have the ability to make an informed decision about whether or not to hold incumbent justices (and judges) accountable for that performance as they seek an additional term of office (for the Colorado Supreme Court justices, they are asking the voters for another 10 YEARS on the bench).

Be a citizen, not a subject – get informed, then exercise your right to vote “NO” this November on the four (er, three remaining) ‘unjust justices’ of the Colorado Supreme Court’s “Mullarkey Majority” – (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, soon minus Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey, who’s resigning rather than face the voters ) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your home or business against seizure via eminent domain abuse, your right to be fairly represented in the legislature and Congress, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of suffering under rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.”  Continue to support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!) and contributions – and vote “NO” on giving these unjust justices another 10-year term!

Mail-in Ballot Midweek Update: Clear The Bench Colorado, the Colorado Supreme Court, judicial retention elections in the news

The end is nigh…

Well, the end of this election cycle, anyway.  Mail-in ballots for the November elections – including the important question of whether to retain three incumbent Colorado Supreme Court justices facing “stiff opposition” as they seek an additional 10-year term in office – went out on Tuesday, and may have already arrived in your mailbox by the time you read this article.

Most voters have also already received the “Blue Book” – containing, among other things, the “reviews” of judicial incumbents published by the commissions on judicial performance, which this year again continued a decades-long tradition of recommending a “retain” vote for every Colorado Supreme Court justice on the ballot (that’s right; Colorado Supreme Court justices “reviewed” by the commissions have received a “retain” vote 100% of the time).  Can you say “rubber-stamp?”

Fortunately, Colorado voters have an alternative (and far more substantive) source of information this year: Clear The Bench Colorado’s Evaluations of Judicial Performance matrix, which provides a summary of how the incumbent justices on the ballot voted in key constitutional cases, along with references on the cases, commentary, and analysis of the impact of these decisions on Colorado voters.

Law Week Colorado provided an overview of the CTBC Evaluations page (including a snapshot of the page) in an article Thursday, Oct. 7 (“Clear The Bench Offers Its Own Judicial Performance Evaluations“), which was also picked up nationally by the Huffington Post.  The article was complimentary on the substantive content and easy-to-read “scorecard”-style layout.  Closing with a quote from the director of the state  judicial performance office provided an illuminating glimpse into the attitude of the status-quo types:

Voters are charged with making informed decisions based on the wealth of information gathered from attorneys, court participants, other judges, and the public, by the commissions and posted in-depth on the judicial performance website and in the Blue Book. [emphasis added]

Um – voters are charged with making decisions based on what’s published on the commission website and in the Blue Book?

Don’t voters have a right to make up their own minds, based on whatever sources they choose?

Could’ve sworn we still live in a free country…

Over the weekend, the Colorado Springs Gazette published an Op-Ed by resident lefty columnist Barry Noreen, who’s now working feverishly to avoid paying off his beer bet.  Despite a cordial interview which at least in theory formed the basis of his editorial (much like those “based on a true story” biopics, though, his piece strayed a bit off-course from the facts), Noreen’s article (“Rabid anti-judiciary fervor has little basis“) demonstrates a somewhat different definition of “objective reporting” of facts (he’s certainly entitled to his own opinions) than mine.

Noreen constructs a strawman argument by inserting terms I did NOT use (I dislike, for example, the term “activist judges” – which has been so misused as to be nearly meaningless.  I’ve stated repeatedly that my standard is judges who uphold and apply the law, as written – Noreen’s earlier use of another term, constructionist, is more accurate).  Why use the term ‘activist?’  Simple – because it is emotionally charged and vague, and can be used to muddy the waters.

Noreen then goes off on a partisan rant (while hypocritically mixing a constitutional issue with a partisan one) in attacking my critique of the court’s ruling in the Salazar v. Davidsion case, in which the Colorado Supreme Court usurped the power of the legislative branch in order to impose it’s own preferred redistricting plan.  Noreen applauds the Colorado Supreme Court for “throwing out the brazenly political re-drawing of political districts in 2003, which the GOP rammed through in the last three days of the legislative session” (conveniently forgetting that the GOP plan was revising a blatantly political Democrat plan imposed by a Denver judge as an interim measure in the previous session).  Newsflash: legislative redistricting is frequently “brazenly political.”  The difference is that in 2003, the Colorado Supreme Court was not only “brazenly political” itself, but acted unconstitutionally in doing so, since the Colorado Constitution (Article V, Section 44) reserves the power of Congressional redistricting exclusively to the General Assembly.

Sorry, Barry – it ain’t about partisanship; it’s about the Constitution (and the proper role of judges in upholding the law, not re-writing it).

On Monday, Colorado Public Radio aired a discussion on judicial retention elections in Colorado, featuring Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold, on the Colorado Matters show (“Judges on the Ballot“) which was excerpted on the news segment at 7:50 AM and aired in full at 10AM and 7PM.

On Tuesday, Clear The Bench Colorado Director Matt Arnold taped an upcoming appearance on Your Show with Adam Schrager (airing this coming Sunday, Channel 9, at 10:30 AM) with surprise guest former Colorado Supreme Court justice Jean Dubofsky defending judicial incumbents and promoting the judicial performance “review” process on behalf of the Colorado Judiciary Project (another well-funded legal establishment special-interest group started by Democrat Party lawyer Mark Grueskin).

Rounding out the past week, the Wednesday Denver Post published an excellent editorial by the always insightful Vincent Carroll representing the Post’s published viewpoint on the Colorado Supreme Court judicial retention votes on the November ballot (the full editorial board declined to interview me, as they have with other statewide candidates and issues – perhaps they were afraid I’d stink up the joint.  Sacre bleu!).  Carroll’s editorial (“No clean sweep of justices“) disagrees with CTBC’s conclusions and recommendations on Justice Rice (a case of reasonable people in mild disagreement, I’d say) but endorses CTBC’s “compelling indictment of Michael Bender and Alex Martinez” and complimented the level of analysis & information provided in our Evaluations of Judicial Performance and other articles:

In every election, voters go to the polls with virtually no knowledge of the judges up for retention – thanks to the nearly useless evaluations issued by the state’s judicial performance commission. So voters do owe Clear the Bench Colorado their thanks for actually offering substantive analysis.

I’ll take that as an endorsement – now, if they’d only include the website link…

As a Citizen, you DO have the right to vote “NO” on these incumbent Colorado Supreme Court justices as they seek an additional 10-year term this November.  Clear The Bench Colorado urges all Colorado citizens to become informed about how the Colorado Supreme Court has aided and abetted assaults on their rights (and wallets!) with a consistent pattern of not following the Constitution where it doesn’t agree with their own personal agenda – and drawing the necessary and logical conclusions.

Exercise your right to vote – and this year, don’t forget the incumbent judges down the ballot

Archives