The judicial nomination process in Colorado relies on a “merit selection” plan and has since 1966, designed to remove political motives by avoiding elections. Although it’s not a democratic system, it strives to be a pluralistic one.
Specialty bars in the state have added another layer of scrutiny to the judge selection process for years. When a district or state judicial vacancy opens, the applications of interested attorneys are forwarded to a nomination commission within the district, which whittles the list down and typically sends three final nominees to the governor’s office. The nomination commissions comprise three attorneys and four non-attorneys with no more than four members belonging to one political party.
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