Colorado representatives Mike Weissman and Terri Carver, chair and vice-chair of the Interim Committee on Judicial Discipline, in a guest article on The Denver Post, stated that Colorado’s decades-old judicial discipline system did not meet the modern standards of independence and public accountability necessary for public trust.

According to the representatives, they have pushed to change that, together with their legislative colleagues.

The lawmakers stated that:

“In our 2022 legislative session, we passed a bi-partisan bill, Senate Bill 201, that established independent funding for the Commission on Judicial Discipline. The bill passed the legislature with 94 “yes” votes out of 100. It requires the judicial branch to share key information with the commission and requires the commission to report to the legislature for purposes of ongoing oversight.”

The bill also established an interim committee to look into ways to strengthen the judicial discipline system and provide suggestions to the general assembly next year.

Last month, the interim committee unanimously passed two resolutions that will make extensive and important changes to Colorado’s judicial discipline system.

A three-member board is established by one resolution to provide decisions on formal disciplinary matters. The board, if approved by two-thirds of the legislature next year and then approved by voters in the November 2024 election, would largely replace the role of “special masters” – judges appointed by the Colorado Supreme Court – and the supreme court itself in imposing sanctions.

The other measure is a companion bill that would put the proposed constitutional amendments into effect. The proposed legislation would require the commission to provide updates to complainants at critical points during the judicial discipline process, improve the commission’s reporting to the legislature and the public, and explicitly permit both anonymous and confidential judicial discipline complaints.

The lawmakers concluded that:

“We hope that our colleagues will support these bipartisan measures next year, and we urge voters of all parties to support the proposed constitutional changes in 2024. Our state needs and deserves a more modern, conflict-free process for resolving judicial discipline complaints.”

Source: The Denver Post


Full story here.