Friday, September 27, 2013

Chief justice Bender to retire Jan. 7

Colorado will need a new supreme court chief justice early in 2014, and the state's Supreme Court Nominating Commission is to meet Oct. 8 and 9 to begin the process of choosing his replacement as a member of the high bench.

The incumbent, Michael Bender, will reach the age of 72 on Jan. 7. That is the state's mandatory retirement age for judges.

The Supreme Court Nominating Commission will provide Gov. John Hickenlooper with three candidates to take his seat.

Bender was appointed to the supreme court by former Gov. Roy Romer in 1997. He was selected to replace Mary Mullarkey as chief justice in 2010.

During his career as a practicing lawyer Bender worked as a public defender, for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and in private practice. He has also taught law at the University of Denver.

The chief justice of the state supreme court is the administrator of a justice system that has a budget in excess of $400 million and more than 3,600 employees.

Colorado's state courts are staffed by 332 judges.

Hickenlooper has appointed one justice to the court since assuming office in Jan. 2011. Brian Boatwright, a former Jefferson County district court judge, was selected to replace justice Alex Martinez in Nov. 2011.

Members of the Supreme Court Nominating Commission are  The members of the nominating commission for the Supreme Court Nominating Commission are Richard Holme and Sr. Alicia CuarĂ³n of the First Congressional District, Lamar Sims and Ann Hendrickson of the Second Congressional District, Kim Childs and Mary Stengel of the Third Congressional District, Scott Johnson and Ira Paulin of the Fourth Congressional District, Richard Celeste and Eric Hall of the Fifth Congressional District, April Jones and Bruce Alexander of the Sixth Congressional District, Charles Tingle and Olivia Mendoza of the Seventh Congressional District, and at-large member Dorothy Decker.

Applicants for the appointment were required to submit necessary documentation to the commission by Sept. 3.

Photo courtesy Colorado Judicial Branch.