A Closer Look at Amendment 40

My good friend Mr. Bob has a different take on Amendment 40 than I do on my ballot picks, which I invite you to read. I could respond to his four points, though, as follows:

1. Many current judges would be pushed out all at once, but the turnover would be less in future years. Some current judges have been there a long time.

2. Using the current retention and recall provisions as justification for a judge to continue on the bench is not persuasive. Who do you know who has a clear understanding of where to go to get insights into whether sitting judges should be retained or removed? The only source of information out there – Commissions on Judicial Performance – recommends that all 108 judges on the ballot this year ben retained and gives no reason why. Featuring them on the ballot at all almost seems a waste of time and resources. This lack of information is why I’m actually more fond of term limits for judges than of term limits for legislators.

3. He may be right with this point, but it is conjecture. It is what gave me the most hesitation in supporting it. I have to take the word of legal professionals on this matter. But it also assumes everything else remains status quo. Maybe there’s also a way to streamline procedures for the sake of efficiency.

4. Sadly, partisan politics already are in some of Colorado’s courtrooms. The debacle with this year’s immigration proposal is most fresh on the minds of many Coloradans, but others can’t be forgotten, such as the 2004 repeal of the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program for disadvantaged kids.

For more details, also check out these arguments at “Limit the Judges.”

I am glad Mr. Bob took the time to respond and gave some thought to the question. My only wish is that we could have more debates like these before we cast votes on important matters on Election Day.


  1. says

    Good points Ben, I did not see this until today, don’t know how I missed it, been checking your site. Anyway, this is one amendment I have been back and forth on…I might even change my mind in the car on the way over to vote in the morning.

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