When Governor Ritter took office in 2007, he sought input from Colorado’s diverse bar associations, including the Colorado LGBT Bar Association, regarding judicial nominees. In response, the Colorado LGBT Bar Association formed a Judicial Endorsements Committee in order to evaluate nominees for the LGBT Bar Association’s input to the Governor and possible endorsement.
Short-list nominees are invited to participate in our evaluation process. Nearly all the nominees contacted by the Committee have been willing to go through our evaluation process, and many actively seek our endorsement. The Committee evaluates the information provided in the nominees’ applications, confers with their references within the LGBT community, considers input from our membership, and usually holds a short teleconference with each individual nominee. Nominees are evaluated for their qualifications to be a judge. They are also evaluated for their familiarity with, and sensitivity to, legal issues that affect the LGBT community.
The Committee generally holds this evaluation process for all nominees to the appellate courts in Colorado, as well as county and district courts in the Denver metro area, including Adams County, Arapahoe County, Boulder County, Denver County, Douglas County and Jefferson County. As time and resources permit, nominees from other judicial districts are considered for the LGBT Bar Association’s input and endorsement if they contact the Committee.
The nominees who have gone through this process have commented about how fair and informative it has been. Some have even remarked how it was helpful to understand the LGBT legal issues that may come before them. The Governor’s Office has also informed the Committee that the Governor has found the LGBT Bar Association’s input helpful.
Volunteers are always needed to serve on subcommittees that evaluate nominees for a particular vacancy. If you are interested in serving on one of these subcommittees, please contact John M. McHugh.