Colorado Judicial records policy: Apparently whatever staff wants it to be
A bipartisan bill in the Colorado state legislature, House Bill 15-1101, seeks to subject the public defender’s office, part of the state’s Judicial Department, to the Colorado Open Records Act. This legislation was proposed in response to a 2012 Colorado Appellate Court ruling decreeing that the Judicial Department can self-exempt itself from the Colorado Open Records Act, a decision that has resulted in reduced government transparency for Colorado residents. This ruling followed a lawsuit featuring Judicial Watch, which sought records pertaining to the legality of the Colorado attorney regulation office’s Arizona district attorney investigation. Read more about that lawsuit here.
Tom Fitton offered some commentary on this matter, as featured in the article:
“Disclosure is always better than no disclosure, but that the disclosure is voluntary, you’re taking them at their word,” Fitton said after reviewing Watchdog.org’s request. “From an accountability perspective, it doesn’t make sense.”