A commission on judicial discipline (commission) is established in current law pursuant to section 23 (3) of article VI of the state constitution. The act implements the commission by:
- Specifying the duties of the commission;
- Establishing and specifying the duties of an office of judicial discipline (office) as an independent office within the judicial department;
- Authorizing the commission to appoint an executive director of the office and specifying the duties of the executive director;
- Authorizing the commission to appoint and determine the duties of special counsel, which may include representing the people in formal proceedings;
- Establishing immunity for commissioners;
- Requiring the attorney general to provide legal services to the commission and office;
- Specifying when information should be shared among offices within the judicial department responsible for reviewing actions of current and potential judges and justices;
- Specifying duties of personnel within the judicial department when they become aware of potential issues of judicial discipline; and
- Establishing a special cash fund and specifying sources of money for the fund and uses of the money in the fund.
For rules, guidelines, and procedures relating to judicial discipline adopted by the supreme court, the act requires the supreme court to:
- Provide the commission with notice and an opportunity to object and, if the commission objects, to engage with the commission in good-faith efforts to resolve differences; and
- Post notice of each rule, guideline, or procedure and allow for public comment, including an opportunity for the public to address the supreme court.
The act creates the legislative interim committee on judicial discipline to study Colorado's system of judicial discipline and make recommendations for necessary changes to that system.
The act appropriates:
- $1,143,438 from the general fund to the commission to implement the act;
- $88,713 to the department of law from reappropriated funds from the commission; and
- $53,463 from the general fund to the legislative department for expenses of the interim committee.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)