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Judicial Diversity

 

 

 

ABOUT THE JUDICIAL DIVERSITY OUTREACH PROGRAM

Through its educational and outreach efforts, the Judicial Diversity Outreach program seeks to further the mission of the Colorado Judicial Branch to provide the community with a fair and impartial system of justice by ensuring that our courts reflect the communities we serve.

This program was established by Colorado SB 19-043 to provide outreach regarding judicial office vacancies and to create and deliver educational programming about the judicial application process. This is the first program of its kind both in Colorado and in the nation.

The program has three main focus areas:

Pipeline Development

Selection Process Enhancement

Data and Research

Engage the judiciary to inspire and coach diverse judicial applicants and law students

Update and develop resources for judicial nominating commissions and review judicial application materials

Share judicial diversity data with the community to spotlight opportunities

Download the executive summary of the program here.

Judicial Diversity Outreach program is a part of the Colorado Bar Association – Colorado Judicial Institute’s Diversity on the Bench Coalition. More information about the Coalition can be found here.

Critical to the long-term success of the Judicial Diversity Outreach program is the work of the Colorado Judicial Well-Being Committee, which provides innovative and whole-person support to judicial officers and promotes workplace policies that address judicial workloads, stress, and work-life integration.

In addition, the Judicial Diversity Outreach program partners with the Colorado Bar Association to promote legal and judicial opportunities in Colorado's Greater Colorado communities. Please visit CBA's Underserved Areas and Legal Deserts website to learn more.


WHY IS JUDICIAL DIVERSITY IMPORTANT?

The mission of the Colorado Judicial Branch is to provide the community with a fair and impartial system of justice. Judicial Diversity Outreach program’s work to diversify the bench helps ensure that the courts reflect the communities we serve and the voices of those who feel that the ideals of equal justice have eluded them are heard. Diversity on the bench will further support decisions that are free of bias and help build a more universal faith in the courts.

On July 12, 2021, Justice Monica M. Márquez testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet on the importance of judicial diversity and judicial diversity efforts in Colorado. The video replay of the hearing can be accessed below (Justice Márquez’s remarks begin at 22:35). Justice Márquez’s written statement can be accessed here.


DATA AND RESEARCH

Compiling and analyzing data about Colorado's judges and judicial applicants is a critical way that Judicial Diversity Outreach contributes to the collective work of increasing judicial diversity. Data and research spotlight the gaps between Colorado's state population and the bench and help establish leading indicators that can be measured periodically to inform that the program's efforts are having the desired impact.

The success of the program will be measured by critical markers along the way, including increasing the number of diverse judicial applicants, increasing the number of resources available to decisionmakers, and supporting judicial well-being programs that promote long-term success of diverse judges, to name a few.

Statewide Data on Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Demographics of Colorado's Judges as of August 31, 2021

Race / Ethnicity

# of Judges*

% of Judges

Colorado Population**

American Indian / Alaska Native

1

0.3%

1.6%

Asian

6

1.8%

3.5%

Black / African American

12

3.6%

4.6%

Hispanic / Latino

32

9.5%

21.8%

White, not Hispanic or Latino

284

84.0%

67.7%

Two or More Races - Not Hispanic or Latino

3

0.9%

3.1%

 

338

100.0%

102.3%

 

Gender

# of Judges

% of Judges

Colorado Population

Male

198

58.6%

50.1%

Female

140

41.4%

49.9%

 

338

100.0%

100.0%

 

*Unless otherwise noted, the data provided in this table reflects responses from county court, district court, and Court of Appeals Judges of the Colorado state courts as well as the Justices of the Colorado Supreme Court that were active and serving on the bench as of August 31, 2021. The data does not include demographic information for judges that were appointed but not yet taken their oaths of office as of August 31, 2021, Denver County Court judges, Magistrates, or Water Referees.

** Based on 2018 Colorado Population Data provided by the Colorado State Demography Office. The 2020 Census data by district was not yet available through the Colorado State Demography Office.


FOR MORE INFORMATION about the Judicial Diversity Outreach program, please contact:

Sumi Lee
Head of Judicial Diversity Outreach
State Court Administrator’s Office
Colorado Judicial Department
720-625-5953
sumi.lee@judicial.state.co.us

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