DA Brauchler encourages initiative to force state judicial branch to abide by CORA

From ColoradoWatchdog.org: After a bill requiring state courts to abide by open records laws died last week, a prominent officer of the court said the ballot box might be the only solution to judges exempting themselves from transparency laws.

“I would encourage the filing of (an initiative) to take place,” 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler told Watchdog.org last week. “It has become clear to me that one branch of government believes it, and it alone, should be treated differently when it comes to public access to records. That is not the way the system is supposed to work.”

For more than a year, Watchdog.org has written about the state appellate court exempting the Colorado Judicial Branch from the Colorado Open Records Act, the documents denied because of the ruling and the internal policies the courts have put in place to provide limited access to their administrative records.

Brauchler, who has been widely touted as a  possible Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2018, said he wasn’t sure he would lead the fight but would urge citizens to file an initiative. This year’s deadline has passed, but as long it has nothing to do with TABOR or tax issues an initiative could be filed next year, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Brauchler blasted Democrats for killing the measure in the legislature and said it should have been sent to the House Judiciary Committee instead of the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, where bills are sent to die.

“What were the Democrats thinking?” he told Watchdog.org. “This isn’t a partisan issue.”

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