UPDATE #4: In a joint press release, the campaigns of Sens. John Morse and Angela Giron announce that they will not appeal today's decision by Denver District Court.
Today, the Denver District Court determined the recall election should proceed despite our constitutional concerns. A September 10th election date has been set. Both campaigns have decided they will not appeal the Denver District Court decision.
We appreciate the opportunity to have all the arguments heard and a full discussion of the merits of the case.
“I am ready and eager for the September 10th election. This last legislative session was my best yet and this is a great opportunity to continue talking to folks in Pueblo about all our successes. In the meantime, I continue to work hard and represent Pueblo,” said Sen. Angela Giron.
President Morse added, “I started working for this community as a EMT, paramedic or police officer in 1977. I have dedicated my life to public service. I look forward to this election. I have already been elected twice, I am excited by the prospect of being elected a third time.”
UPDATE #3: Gov. John Hickenlooper sets the date for both recall elections: Tuesday, September 10th.
UPDATE #2: Scott Gessler's writ of mandamus is denied: Judge Hyatt rules that Hickenlooper was right to wait for judicial review. The Colorado Supreme Court may still issue a stay; otherwise, says Judge Hyatt, "the clock begins running now" for Gov. Hickenlooper to set a recall date.
UPDATE: Denver District Judge Robert Hyatt rules in favor of recall organizers on constitutional language question; that ruling is subject to appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court. Still awaiting word on Gessler's motion to force an immediate election date.
Political insiders on both sides of the aisle are nervously awaiting the rulings expected today at 1:00PM from Denver District Judge Robert Hyatt: on the constitutionality of the recall petition language used to obtain signatures against two Democratic state senators, as well as a motion from Secretary of State Scott Gessler through a private attorney to force Gov. John Hickenlooper to set a date for these recall elections before the aforementioned constitutional question is resolved.
Whichever way Judge Hyatt rules, the case is certain to be appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court.
Secretary of State Gessler's motion, filed via a former Hackstaff Law Group (formerly Hackstaff Gessler) attorney, has come under significant criticism. We discussed Monday the appearances of Gessler's move–since then, Hickenlooper aide Alan Salazar defended Gov. Hickenlooper's decision to wait until these hearings were completed as "respect for the judicial process." As we noted, a more practical consideration for both sides is the student body of Colorado College in Sen. John Morse's district–Republicans and the El Paso County clerk want the election set before those students return for the fall semester, while Morse's supporters obviously want those students included.
It's critical to understand this detail, as it seriously undermines the credibility of Secretary of State Gessler's motion. Gov. Hickenlooper is not attempting to prevent the recall election from going forward, but his interpretation of the law, to wait until court challenges are resolved, will result in the 2,000 member student body of Colorado College being able to participate in the recall election.
Once you understand that, you realize that Gessler is not actually trying to defend the elections process at all. He's trying, in his official capacity and using a fellow private elections law attorney, to put his thumb on the scales.
In a vacuum, that seems like a very harsh indictment against the state's chief elections officer. But folks, two and a half years into Gessler's term as Secretary of State–after the dunk tank fundraiser, the quixotic hunt for "illegal voters," the long battle to restrict delivery of ballots to so-called "inactive voters," the ethics judgments following partisan Republican strategy conventions, we could go on and on–do you really think we're being unfair?
We'll have plenty to update after 1:00PM today.