Skip to comments.Colorado official goes to court to force recall date for Dems
Posted on 07/17/2013 11:50:17 AM PDT by Red Steel
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler filed paperwork in district court this weekend to force Gov. John Hickenlooper to set a date for the recall elections of two Democratic gun-control supporters.
John Hickenlooper, the governor of Colorado, has refused to perform his constitutional duty to set a date for an election to recall Colorado state Senators John Morse and Angela Giron, Gessler argued in the court filing. His refusal to perform this mandatory and ministerial duty is frustrating the right of Colorado citizens to vote promptly on whether these senators should remain in office, and preventing election officials from complying with statutory deadlines for a recall election.
The filing comes after Gesslers office certified that Morses opponents had gathered enough signatures to trigger the election, and after his office rejected an attempt by both lawmakers supporters to have the petitions thrown out on a wording technicality.
By law, the election is required to be held within 60 days of Gessler notifying Hickenloopers office that the recall is certified and valid, which occurred on July 5.
But Morse quickly filed a motion in district court asking for a preliminary injunction to keep Hickenlooper from setting a date until Morses attorney can again argue against the validity of the petition.
Gessler argues thats the 60-day clock began ticking on July 5 and that the legal challenge has no bearing on Hickenlooper picking a day for the vote.
But the Denver Post reports that Hickenloopers office is waiting until all the legal challenges have been heard to set a date.
Waiting prevents Gessler from fulfilling his own obligations as the state official in charge of elections, he said, pointing in his motion to statutory deadlines he must meet to certify the ballot and vet petition signatures nominating challengers to both offices.
Gessler, who is considering a run for governor to unseat Hickenlooper, hired his former law firm to file the paperwork. An emergency hearing may be held as early as Monday.
Morses motion to prevent Hickenlooper from setting an election date is set for a hearing on Wednesday.
Girons attempts to challenge her recall, while lagging behind Morses by a few days, have mirrored his supporters efforts, but Giron has not filed for an injunction.
Who does Hickenlooper think he is? Obama?
I’m overjoyed at these recalls, but isn’t Gessler filing the case prematurely, since the 60 days isn’t up? I know that technically, Chickpooper can drag his feet until the last day and then “call” an election, but legally, Gessler doesn’t really have a case.
Laws are only for the little people
Seems like the law is clear. He must set a date and any petition to challenge the validity doesn’t affect the date set.
Of course, laws aren’t something Democrats have to follow.
Progressives love to speak about “disenfranchisement” by conservatives, but when they do it it’s called fighting for the children.
Liberals Democrats and too many Republicans are needing to be dragged kicking and screaming to do their job when it conflicts with their personal agendas.
Ending all pensions for all elected officials would go a long way to eliminating scum from our government.
I haven't read the law but this could be an early suit to clarify a law that may never have been used. The demoRats will try to weasel out of anything.
Great opportunity for a Republican AG to prosecute or a State Legislature to use for impeachment.
"Recall hearing with multiple attorneys is underway
Efforts to oust Senators John Morse and Angela Giron from office get their day in court Wednesday as lawyers attempt to block the recall elections from taking place.
A hearing in Denver District Court concerning the recall efforts aimed at two Colorado state senators is expected to last all day.
Election attorney Mark Grueskin argued on behalf of Morse and Giron that the petitions circulated to voters asking for recall elections didn't meet constitutional muster and should be thrown out.
Richard Westfall, a former Colorado solicitor general, argued on behalf of the petition gatherers that the elections should proceed uninterrupted because they met all legal requirements.
All of the testimony and evidence in the case seeking an injunction preventing the election is expected to be presented to 2nd Judicial District Chief Judge Robert Hyatt. Hyatt could make a decision anytime after the testimony concludes.
The courtroom is a showdown between Republican and Democratic state officials as well.
Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler's attorney argued Wednesday morning that Gov. John Hickenlooper -- a Democrat - should be forced to set a date for the election despite the ongoing litigation.
Hickenlooper's attorney's argued that was impossible without a ruling of sufficiency on the petitions from the courts.
El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams, a Republican, has an attorney present to make an argument in favor of the election being set before a court ruling.
Williams' office would be responsible for conducting and paying for the recall election of Sen. John Morse, D-Colorado Springs.
At the same time, Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder Gilbert Ortiz, a Democrat, joined the lawsuit trying to stall the elections saying postponing the election would enable him to comply with laws regarding oversees ballots for armed service members. Ortiz would run the recall election in the Giron, D-Pueblo, race.
Ortiz was the first witness called Wednesday morning by the Democrats and testified the recall election would cost $186,000 and most of those expenses would be unrecoverable if the election were canceled by court order after he had prepared for it.
Giron and Morse were targeted for recall by groups of voters after they supported gun legislation that ultimately banned high-capacity magazines and required background checks on all gun sales.
Morse also proposed a law that would hold gun manufacturers and sellers liable for damages caused by high-capacity magazines they built or sold.
The groups were able to collect enough signatures from registered voters in each of the senators districts to force a recall election. The signatures were checked by the Secretary of State's Office and found valid, but now Democrats are trying to toss those petitions out because they failed to include language demanding an election of a replacement candidate if either senator is removed from office. "
That would be an election by Sept 3 for Morse and by Sept 8th for Giron.
I have never seen anything like this in my life, this disregard for the rule of law that has become normal and deemed acceptable for this President and the sycophants that follow at his heel. They're fundamentally changing America all right but not for the better.
Gessler is correct Hickloopy has to set the date upon receiving the recall certifications that should be a 30 day window after 1 month and less than 60 days.
" "The Colorado Constitution requires the Governor to set a recall-election date as soon as he receives a recall petition and sufficiency certification from the Secretary," Gessler says in the complaint.
Quoting from the state constitution, the complaint continues: "When such petition is sufficient, the officer with whom such recall petition was filed [the Secretary], shall forthwith submit said petition, together with a certificate of its sufficiency to the governor, who shall thereupon order and fix the date for holding the election not less than thirty days nor more than sixty days from the date of submission of said petition; provided that if a general election is to be held within ninety days after the submission of said petition, the recall election shall be held as part of the general election."
This is a two-part election. The first one 'shall there be a recall of the elected official', and if that is a "yes," than the candidate election shall happen within 90 days.
Hickyloopy is doing his best to drag it out and not following the Constitution.
No, because he doesn’t have 60 days to CALL the election, he has to set a date for the election that is within 60 days of when the election was certified. That needs to be done now, so there is enough time within those 60 days to prepare for the election.
With the ballots certified July 5th, the election should legally be held by September 3rd. Hickenlooper has already wasted almost 2 weeks of preparation time.
I agree with you, but I can see him dragging this out on the technicality.
Pueblo Chieftain 1hr ago - Denver judge to rule on recall challenge Thursday
"Denver Chief District Judge Robert Hyatt will issue his decision at 1 p.m. Thursday on the legal challenges to the recall petitions against state Sens. Angela Giron, D-Pueblo, and John Morse, D-Colorado Springs.
Hyatt listened to nine hours of testimony Wednesday before ending the hearing at 6 p.m. What he will decide Thursday is whether to postpone the recall process by issuing an injunction as well as rule on whether the recall petitions were improperly worded and invalid. Victor Head, an organizer of the Pueblo recall campaign against Giron, was among the last witnesses at the hearing.
Mark Grueskin, the attorney for Giron and Morse supporters, wants Hyatt to invalidate the recall petitions because they didnt include wording that demanded a special election to replace those lawmakers.
Head and other recall volunteers were questioned whether they understood that in recalling Giron, they were also seeking an election to replace her. They repeated that they relied on wording approved by Secretary of State Scott Gesslers office. Hyatt is also considering whether to stop the recall election process with an injunction while the legal wrangling continues. Grueskin has has for an injuction while the legal wrangling continues. ..."