Friday, January 9, 2009

Chief Justice Makes Modest Requests During Biannual Address to Assembly

Colorado Supreme Court chief justice Mary Mullarkey came to the House chamber on Friday for her biannual "State of the Judiciary" address and she did not ask for much.

The veteran jurist, who has been on the court for more than 21 years, urged the General Assembly only to provide some additional probation officers, facilitate improved service at courhouses and provide a few million dollars for furnishings in the new courthouses and courthouse additions.

In 2007 and 2005 Mullarkey sought quite a bit more for the judicial branch, asking the last time she spoke for 63 new judges and enhanced security for courthouses and four years ago for 12 new judges and 104 other new judicial branch employees.

There was a minor controversy surrounding the chief justice's biannual address because some GOP legislators, including Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, have accused the state's highest court of having a bias in favor of the Democratic party. Gardner and several other Republican lawmakers asked Mullarkey to address those allegations in a letter sent to the veteran judge earlier in the week, but Mullarkey did not do so during her speech.