A lawsuit filed by a Colorado state senator over the state’s judicial website says the website “fails to provide the public with accurate information and cannot be used to conduct public review of judicial cases.”
Sen. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) filed the lawsuit last month, saying the website was “not a judicial tool” and that the state “has no right to regulate its citizens’ access to the state judicial system.”
Chaffetz wrote in his lawsuit that the website, called Judicial Review, is “unnecessary, overly burdensome, and not appropriate” for the state.
The website lists the names and positions of the judges on the state court, and states that the judges are appointed by the governor and appointed by a state supreme court judge.
It also provides links to judicial opinions.
But Chaffetz’s lawsuit argues that the judicial website is “not judicial” and does not give judges any power to make decisions on whether or not to take cases to the Colorado Supreme Court.
In a statement, the state said the site does not provide a judge’s power to rule on whether to take a case to the Supreme Court, nor does it have the authority to enforce its rulings.
“The Judicial Review website is intended to serve as a resource to Colorado residents for a broad range of judicial matters, and does so in a manner that ensures accurate information, transparency, and public accountability,” said Attorney General Brad Miller.
“The site is not judicial in nature, and it does not allow for the judicial function of judicial review to function as a legal mechanism.”
Miller has been critical of the state website in recent months, saying it lacks transparency, does not follow the rules of court, is confusing and is not responsive to questions from the public.
In December, Miller wrote a letter to Colorado Supreme Judicial Court Chief Judge Kevin Coyle to make it clear the website would remain open to public scrutiny.
In the letter, Miller also said the website does not meet the state law that requires judges to follow the law, the Colorado Constitution, the law of the land or any court ruling.
Miller also wrote to the Judicial Review site in January to inform the public about the “preliminary findings” made in his investigation of the site.
He wrote that the preliminary findings “indicate that Judicial Review is not a judicial instrument” and “is not intended to be a judicial decision-making mechanism.”
“Judicial review does not exist in a vacuum,” Miller wrote in the letter.
“Its purpose is to protect the integrity of the judicial process and to ensure that the judiciary operates according to the law and is impartial.
It does not serve any specific purpose.”
In January, the Supreme Judicial Courts office received the lawsuit from Chaffetz, who called Judicial Record “the worst and most incompetent website ever created.”
In a news release, the office said the office had no comment.
Chaffets office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.