Colorado’s U.S. senators have reintroduced legislation to add two U.S. District Court judges to the federal bench in Colorado.
The state currently has six active "Article III" U.S. District Court judges, the senators said in a joint statement Wednesday. Those are judges nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate and do not include magistrate judges.
Republican Sen. Cory Gardner and Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet cited the court's heavy caseload in seeking more Colorado-based federal judges.
“One of the U.S. Senate’s greatest responsibilities is advising the president on our nation’s courts,” Gardner said. “Colorado’s population has continued to boom over the last several years without a proportional increase in the number of Article III judges. This causes significant logistical problems for the courts, contributes to federal judges in Colorado being overworked, and often forces litigants, jurors, witnesses, and counsel to have to travel across the state just to have a hearing. This bill would help ease the caseload in Colorado and work to ensure Coloradans are not denied their Constitutional right to fair and timely trials.”
Added Bennet: “The number of federal judges serving Colorado has stayed the same for decades, while our state’s population has continued to grow. Given the mounting caseload facing our district court, two additional judgeships will ensure each case receives full examination.”
The joint statement said all current active U.S. District Court judges in Colorado are based in Denver, "so litigants outside of Denver often travel long distances to attend court." But the legislation does not specify that any of the new judges should be based elsewhere in Colorado.
In addition to Denver, there are federal courthouses in Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and Durango.
Colorado's current active Article III District Court judges are Philip A. Brimmer (chief judge), Christine M. Arguello, William J. Martinez, R. Brooke Jackson, Raymond P. Moore and Daniel D. Domenico. Domenico was confirmed by the Senate in April.
There also are five judges on senior (semi-retired) status and nine magistrate judges in the state.