May 21, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Finalized Reapportionment Plan Not Sufficiently Attentive to County Boundaries

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re Apportionment of the Colorado General Assembly on November 15, 2011.

Redrawing Legislative Districts for the House and Senate of the Colorado General Assembly.

The Supreme Court held that the finalized Reapportionment Plan submitted by the Colorado Reapportionment Commission (Commission) was not sufficiently attentive to county boundaries to meet the requirements of article V, § 47(2) of the Colorado Constitution, and that the Commission did not make an adequate showing that a less drastic alternative could not have satisfied the hierarchy of constitutional criteria set forth in In re Reapportionment of the Colorado General Assembly, 45 P.3d 1237 (Colo. 2002). The Court disapproved the plan and returned it to the Commission for further consideration, modification, and resubmission by 5:00 p.m. on December 6, 2011.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Supreme Court to Live Stream Audio from Reapportionment Oral Arguments

The Colorado Supreme Court will stream the audio live online from the oral arguments of the hearing for the reapportionment of the Colorado General Assembly. Oral arguments on the contentious issue are scheduled for November 9, 2011, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at the Old Supreme Court Courtroom in the Capitol Building.

Click here to listen to the oral arguments live.

Colorado Supreme Court Adopts New Rules Regarding Reapportionment Commission Proceedings

The Colorado Supreme Court has adopted new rules under the Colorado Court Rules Chapter 34, Rules for Reapportionment Committee Proceedings. The rule changes are designed to outline the timeline in which the Reapportionment Commission must submit their final plan to the Colorado Supreme Court and the process in which the Court will review the plan. The new rules also allow for the review and determination of the plan’s compliance with the Colorado Constitution to take precedence over all of the Court’s regular docket matters.

Under the new rules, the Commission must file its plan with the Court no later than October 7, 2011. The plan must include comprehensive maps of the proposed senatorial and representative districts along with descriptions of the proposed plan and its implementation.

Statements of opposition, proposed alternate plans, and supporting documentation must be filed with the court within twenty days of the Commission’s filing of their plan with the Court. Proponents of the Commission’s plan will have five days to reply to any opposition filings. The Court may require oral argument concerning any issue raised by the Commission, other proponents, or opponents.

The final submission of legal arguments or evidence concerning the plan shall be filed no later than November 9, 2011, and the Court commits to approving a plan for the redrawing of the districts by a date that will allow sufficient time for the plan to be filed with the secretary of state, but no later than December 14, 2011.

Click here to view the Reapportionment rule changes in their entirety.

Click here to review the Supreme Court’s other rule changes so far in 2011.

Chief Justice Bender Makes Final Four Appointments to Colorado Reapportionment Commission

On Wednesday, Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael L. Bender named his four appointments to the Colorado Reapportionment Commission, completing the eleven-member commission.

The Reapportionment Commission consists of eleven members, pursuant to the Colorado Constitution. The Senate Majority Leader, House Speaker, Senate Minority Leader, and House Minority Leader have all agreed to serve on the commission or have designated someone else to serve on the commission. The Governor appointed three members to the commission last week. And now, Chief Justice Bender has appointed the final four members.

Chief Justice Bender appointed the following individuals to the commission:

  • Dolores S. Atencio – A Democrat from Denver in the First Congressional District. Atencio is a partner at Garcia Calderon Ruiz, LLP, and practices litigation and employment law.
  • Mario M. Carrera – An unaffiliated voter from Parker in the Sixth Congressional District. Carrera is the vice president and general manager of Entravision Communications Corporation.
  • Robert D. Loevy – A Republican from Colorado Springs in the Fifth Congressional District. Loevy is a professor of political science and American government at Colorado College.
  • Steve Tool – A Republican from Windsor in the Fourth Congressional District.  Tool is a former state legislator where he served on the Joint Budget Committee.

Last week, Governor John Hickenlooper named his three appointments to the commission:

  • Gayle A. Berry – A Republican from Grand Junction in the Third Congressional District. Berry is a former state legislator.
  • Wellington Webb – A Democrat from Denver in the First Congressional District. Webb is a former Mayor of Denver.
  • Arnold Salazar – A Democrat from Alamosa in the Third Congressional District.

The Colorado Reapportionment Commission will work collaboratively to reset the borders of the state’s legislative districts.  This is separate from the redistricting work going on in the General Assembly to redraw the state’s Congressional districts. Additional information on the Colorado Reapportionment Commission is available here.