Gavel Grab

Opinion: Vacancy Threatens Colorado’s Overburdened Federal Court

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado is struggling to handle too many cases with too few judges, says a Colorado Statesman op-ed, expressing concern for the state’s citizens who “cannot get timely justice or resolution of disputes”.

Currently, only seven judges handle all of the state’s civil and criminal trial-level cases.  Despite the growing number of Coloradans, Congress has not increased the number of judges since 1984, the op-ed says. The understaffed, overloaded District Court may face a greater change if the number of full-time judges drops to six. According to the op-ed,  U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn announced he will be taking senior status starting in April 2016.

The op-ed was written by Dave Montez, executive director of One Colorado Education Fund. He notes that Colorado’s two U.S. senators “have each created separate screening committees that do not appear to be planning to work together.” Montez also advocates for diversity on the bench, saying the judicial vacancy “provides an opportunity for our senators to select candidates who reflect the diversity of our state.”



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