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January 20, 2010 03:19 AM UTC

Suthers Burned By "Clear The Bench" Nutters

  • by: Colorado Pols

As the Denver Post reports:

A Republican blog is reporting that Attorney General John Suthers won’t support three of the four Colorado Supreme Court justices on the ballot in November.

The Republican attorney general isn’t talking, except to say that he wishes he had kept quiet.

“I should not have gotten into any of that,” Suthers said Monday. “I regret the conversation.”

But Republicans who want to oust Supreme Court members up for retention this year are thrilled to have the law-and-order heavyweight on their side…

The organization is trying to rid the high court of most of its members – including all four on the ballot this year. Clear the Bench maintains that the court is making unconstitutional decisions that favor Democrats.

The movement worries some Coloradans.

“The idea of sweeping four judges out at once is radical and very disruptive,” said state Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver.

The thing is, Attorney General John Suthers wants, as soon as the lights are shined, nothing to do with the fringy perennial “Clear the Benchers.” Every election in recent memory has featured former Senate President John “Bad Elf” Andrews laying on the thick sauce about the judicial branch’s depredations (if only the politicians could do their thing without those meddling courts!), and every year whatever he manages to get on the ballot–if anything–tanks miserably. This year, they’re apparently focusing their efforts on retention elections for several Colorado Supreme Court justices, where historically one sees little-improved prospects for success.

The problem for Suthers is much simpler: he has to argue cases before the Supreme Court, and if this right-wing blog had its way he would be on record that at least three of them should get fired. That’s a pretty huge breach of decorum from a sitting AG, and Suthers knows it: that’s why he is apologetic. We’ve heard Suthers hates being accused of politics influencing his judgment, so we are not surprised to see him trying to downplay one of his most pointedly political attacks yet–especially after joining the ‘judiciary haters’ scorned by the legal world, Democrat and Republican alike.


26 thoughts on “Suthers Burned By “Clear The Bench” Nutters

    1. The nuts are those who deny reality. And the reality is that this year we have one of the most organized and intense efforts in the state’s history to unseat unprincipled and intellectually dishonest members of the state supreme court.

      Spend a few hours reading Clear the Bench Colorado.


      It helps to know what you’re talking about.

      1. I felt like Alice as she tumbled down the rabbit hole. You guys have this skewed view of reality and when people do not hew to it 100%, you scream unconstitutional.

        They’re stuck in this very difficult position where our constitution is logically inconsistent – thanks to all the badly written amendments, from both the left and right.

        They do a really good job of balancing all those requirements out. What you’re trying to do is blatant judicial activism – using the courts to overrule when you can’t win in the legislature & executive.

        1. if you spent “a few hours” reading that blog, you’d come out the other end thinking like Another skeptic. Spend a day there and your synapses would be totally fried, and you’d be Libertad!

          1. Sorry for setting these high expectations, but your lowest common denominator strategy is un American.  We can and should do better.

            So, have fun funding the re-elect campaign for the Guvs weak minded principles in the tax hike effort.

          2. Occasionally I go into the depths of tinfoil hat and hate to see what they are down to.  

            The absolute lack of facts, logic and sanity is amazing.  The abject hate directed at most people who are not like them is huge. Thankfully there are not a lot of people like them.

            I never provide links to those sites, they don’t need the traffic and innocent people should not have to wash their keyboards and eyes out with bleach just for following a link.

  1. that their thinly veiled political tactics only hurt the Republican cause?  Voters see how bad their rabid ideology is for Colorado almost every voting season now.  Just another reason to explain why the people of Colorado keep leaving the R Party.  Andrews, Bruce, Caldara and crew are really D’s secret weapons.  One could make a good argument that their party exsanguination is being done on purpose.  Voters rejected their attempt to manipulate judicial retention four years ago.  Viva la Missouri Plan!  Even if, somehow, they got their lame wish now, their juvenile actions won’t be forgotten when soon-to-be Governor Hickenlooper gets the opportunity to appoint a new SCJ.  They have now managed to suck Suthers into the trash compactor with them, with damage to his reputation and credibility in the process.  Good work, guys.

    “Beatniks and politics, nothing is new

    A yardstick for lunatics, one point of view”  -strawberry alarm clock

  2. as I mentioned at the beginning of the day.  One reason these creeps go after the judges and justices is that they KNOW that judges and justices cannot ethically respond in kind, and cannot even campaign when they’re up for retention election.  Do you want to live in an uncivilized, chaotic society?  Then corrupt or destroy its judicial system.  

  3. God Bless the folks at CLEAR THE BENCH

    Clear The Bench is fringe? What is fringe is a Supreme Court that VIOLATES the State Constitution by approving a mil levy freeze that clearly violated the Taxpayer Bill of Rights – you may hate the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, but it impossible to defend the mil levy freeze against it

    Shame on Senator Pat Steadman for referring to the Clear the Bench movement as “radical” and “disruptive”

    What is “radical” and “disruptive” is a Supreme Court that interprets laws based on political bias, not Constitutional Law

    The Supreme Court Justices here in Colorado are not kings who sit on a fiefdom – they are not infallible either – they are held accountable just like any other elected official and for that reason, the bench does, indeed, need to be cleared

    1. They are appointed officials who periodically stand for retention election.  Colorado’s system of appointment, evaluation and retention elections for judges/justices is the best there is.  Judges and justices are human, thank goodness, and none of us will always agree with every decision.  So, are you of the opinion that we should dump ANY official with whom we disagree on one decision?  Makes no sense to me.

    2. What they did by and large is where the law is unclear or conflicting they deferred to the legislature because they are elected by the voters. By any measure this is judicial restraint. What you want is judicial activism in favor of your political views.

    3. If the courts never went that extra step in clarifying matters of the law, then a lot of the landmark SCOTUS cases that have made this country better wouldn’t have happened. Did SCOTUS violate the constitution when they said separate but equal wasn’t constitutional?

      Judicial review, as much as conservatives may hate it, has saved this country time and time again.

      1. More than $2 billion in Colorado monies invested in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae combined?

        There’s much more to the State Treasury than keeping books and counting money – too much of our State Investments are with bailout companies and that needs to change

  4. I just gotta add my anger over Senator Pat Steadman’s comment

    Matt Arnold, of Clear the Bench, has been nothing but a gentleman when it comes to getting the word out

    He works tirelessly to get the word out and is polite in all of his speeches – to have him described as a “radical” is a pure ad hominem attack against an individual whose points are purely logical and full of intellect

    Senator Pat Steadman – you owe Matt Arnold an apology

    1. I congratulate Senator Pat Steadman for telling it like it is. There are three branches of government, independent.  The far right anti-government mob knows that by destroying one branch our form of government fails and we become a failed state and country.

    2. The Honorable Senator Pat Steadman hit it right on the head with his clear and concise statement. Further, his statement is directed at the issue, not MA, so to insinuate an apology in needed is a bit asinine.

    3. Senator Steadman did not call Mr. Arnold a “radical”.  He called his idea “radical”.  The Senator owes no more of an apology to Mr. Arnold than you owe an apology to Chief Justice Mullarkey.

      Further given that you are a candidate for State Treasurer, I am not sure how comfortable I am with you chiming in on issues realative to another seperate and equal branch of government.  Without a doubt AG Suthers was out of line, but I think you may have just stepped in it as well….

  5. Good, bad or indifferent, if nobody runs against him, he wins, no matters who seriously he screws up.

    Indeed, one wonders (as it appears that he himself does) what he was thinking when he engaged Clear The Bench at a time when the guaranteed winning campaign for him is to not campaign.

    I would be completely stunned if any of the retention elections resulted in the non-retention of a state supreme court justice.  No appellate justice has ever failed to be retained in Colorado, and non-retentions are almost always proceeded by some manner of scandal.

    1. Sometimes I think that is unfortunate.  New blood on the state supreme court is a good thing, especially since Colorado’s supreme court is pretty mediocre.

      That said, Clear the Bench is nothing more than a fringe group.  I wonder how they’d feel about Gov. Hickenlooper naming 4 replacements?  😉  I will guess that would NOT be their first choice.

      1. …unlike the US supreme court, the state court has a mandatory retirement age (which, I read, largely cleared the bench during the 1990’s).  Also, people like Justice Kourlis leave the bench, just cuz.  The current court has been intact since….um…..I don’t know.  2005?  Anyway, the Post article I read said that Mullarkey is doing poorly (health-wise) and might not stand for retention anyway.  I don’t know about the others.

  6. Our Supreme Court is politicizing the law, not interpreting it

    And having a public discussion and charge to replace them is not at all “disruptive” or “radical” – it is a fabric of our democracy – after all, they are on a ballot, as the State of Colorado requires – therefore, should a conversation about their record of judgement not take place?

    I’m proud to support Clear The Bench and I hope we are successful  

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