Colorado Supreme Court expected to rule Tuesday on recall question

August 26, 2013 Updated: August 27, 2013 at 7:27 am
photo - This May 24, 2013 file photo shows Democratic State Senate President John Morse at the Democratic headquarters in Colorado Springs. (AP file)
This May 24, 2013 file photo shows Democratic State Senate President John Morse at the Democratic headquarters in Colorado Springs. (AP file) 

DENVER — The Colorado Supreme Court is expected to rule Tuesday on yet another legal question in the muddy waters of the state’s first two legislative recall elections.

Gov. John Hickenlooper asked the Supreme Court whether it is constitutional for voters to be required to vote on the recall question before they can vote for a replacement candidate.

Two Democratic Senators will appear on recall ballots on Sept. 10. Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs and Sen. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, are facing potential ouster from office because of their support of gun legislation that became law this year.

Voters in the two senate districts will first be asked on the ballot whether Morse and Giron should be removed from office. The ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question must be answered before voting on the second half of the ballot under the Colorado Constitution.

The second half of the ballot asks voters if the elected officials are successfully recalled who should replace them.

“It has recently come to the Governor’s attention that this provision may run afoul of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution,” says the court document asking the Colorado Supreme Court to rule on the issue. “Indeed, in 2003 a virtually identical provision of the California Election Code was declared unconstitutional by the United States District Court.”

Hickenlooper filed the document in an effort to have the courts rule on the issue before ballots are printed for the election to avoid a legal challenge after the election.

The Supreme Court justices responded Monday by asking all interested parties to file their positions in the matter by 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Those who could file petitions in the case include Secretary of State Scott Gessler, Morse and Giron. Also expected to reply are the clerk and recorders for both El Paso and Pueblo counties who are responsible for running the elections.

Contact Megan Schrader
Twitter: @CapitolSchrader


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