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Our Courts. State Courts Serving Colorado . Our State Courts are Busy. Cases Filed—FY 2007 551,197 in County Courts 189,235 in District Courts 2,548 in the Court of Appeals 1,534 in the Supreme Court 744,514 Total State Cases. How we decide who should serve as a judge.

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State courts serving colorado

Our Courts

State Courts

Serving Colorado

Our state courts are busy
Our State Courts are Busy

Cases Filed—FY 2007

551,197 in County Courts

189,235 in District Courts

2,548 in the Court of Appeals

1,534 in the Supreme Court

744,514 Total State Cases

How we decide who

should serve as a judge

Adams County Courthouse

Colorado is one of 25 states

that uses nominating commissions as part of the

judicial selection process.

These states

appoint judges based

on comprehensive reviews of applicants’

backgrounds & qualifications.

History of merit selection in colorado
History ofMerit Selection in Colorado

1940 - Bar Committee on Judicial Selection

1949 - Recommendations to Legislature

1954 - Denver v. Colo. Water Conservancy

1958 - Legislative Council

1963 - Meeting of 100 Leaders

1966 - Amendment 3

Nominating commissions county and district courts
Nominating CommissionsCounty and District Courts

1 commission in each of 22 judicial districts



Attorney General

4 Non Lawyers

3 Lawyers

Not more than 4 from same political party.

Chief Justice

Nominating commission considers the applications
Nominating Commission Considers the Applications

Reviews the applications

Checks each applicant’s

references & reputation

Interviews the trial court applicants
Interviews theTrial Court Applicants

County & District Courts

Non-voting chair, Assoc. Justice

Nominating commission supreme court court of appeals
Nominating CommissionSupreme Court & Court of Appeals





+1 at-large

8 Non Lawyers


Chief Justice

Not more than 8 from same political party.

Interviews the appellate court applicants
Interviews the Appellate Court Applicants

Court of Appeals & Supreme Court

Non-voting chair,

Chief Justice

The commission nominates

at least two, and

not more than three applicants,

whose names

are sent to the Governor

Governor s office
Governor’s Office

Checks state and federal agency records to ensure no violations of law.

Solicits and receives information

about each applicant.

Typically interviews each applicant.

Appoints one.

Initial term of state judges
Initial Term of State Judges

All state court judges must serve a provisional term of two years.

The voters then decide whether the judge or justice continues to serve.

How we keep our courts

fair & impartial

Cheyenne County Courthouse

Enforcing rules of conduct judicial disciplinary commission
Enforcing Rules of Conduct Judicial Disciplinary Commission



Chief Justice


4 Non Lawyers

2 District Court Judges

2 Lawyers

2 County Court Judges

State Senate confirms

How we decide whether a judge should continue to serve
How we decide whethera judge should continue to serve

Costilla County Courthouse

The oldest courthouse still in use in Colorado

Judicial performance commission reviews the performance of every judge
Judicial Performance CommissionReviews the Performance of Every Judge

2 Non Lawyers

2 Non Lawyers

1 Lawyer

1 Lawyer



Chief Justice


1 Non Lawyer

1 Non Lawyer

1 Lawyer

1 Lawyer




House Speaker


1 commission in each of 22 judicial districts

1 statewide commission

for court of appeals and supreme court

Select the best

to serve as judges.

Nominating Commissions

select the best to serve.

Ensure that judges

conduct proceedings fairly

& apply the Rule of Law

Appellate courts review

trial court decisions.

Our Courts

Ensure that Judges

are fair & impartial

Judges are required to

disclose their personal finances

and to recuse.

Ensure Compliance


Judicial Code of Conduct

Disciplinary Commission

enforces conduct

& performance standards.

Voters decide whether

each judge

should continue to serve.

Performance Commissions

review the performance

of all judges.

Our Courts

Serving Colorado

Serving Justice