A plan (HB 1303) to revamp Colorado’s Judicial Performance Evaluation system is set for a vote by the House this week. The plan would make changes to the existing system of statewide and district-based commissions that put out evaluations of judges for voters to examine. Among the changes:
- Commissions would have the power to recommend after an interim evaluation that a judge be subject to a judicial improvement plan.
- The commissions would be required to create a “standards matrix” and clearly define or describe whether a judge “meets performance standard” or “does not meet performance standard” and defined how that information will be made available to the public.
- During an election year, commissions would no longer issue a statement for
“retain”, “do not retain”, or “no opinion”.
- Adds senior, retired judges who have returned to temporary judicial duties per contract with the judicial department to the list of those evaluated.
- The creation of a systemwide volunteer courtroom observer program.
- Currently commission members serve for 4 years. HB 1303 calls for the terms of sitting members to be cut short as of February 1, 2019.
- Membership on the commissions would change, with House and Senate minority leaders getting to select members of the commissions.
|Current State and District (10 members)||New State (11 members)||New District (10 members)|
|Speaker of the House||1 attorney, 1 nonattorney||1 attorney, 1 nonattorney||1 attorney, 1 nonattorney|
|President of the Senate||1 attorney, 1 nonattorney||1 attorney, 1 nonattorney||1 attorney, 1 nonattorney|
|Governor||1 attorney, 2 nonattorneys||1 attorney, 2 nonattorneys||2 nonattorneys|
|Chief Justice||1 attorney, 2 nonattorneys||2 attorneys||2 attorneys|
|House Minority Leader||n/a||1 nonattorney||1 nonattorney|
|Senate Minority leader||n/a||1 nonattorney||1 nonattorney|
HB 1303 could be voted on by the full House as early as today.