Monica Marquez Supreme Court selection disappoints Clear the Bench's Matt Arnold

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Monica Marquez.
Clear the Bench Colorado's Matt Arnold -- the man behind an effort to vote out three current Supreme Court justices for allegedly unconstitutional rulings -- was far less than thrilled by Governor Bill Ritter's appointment of Monica Marquez to the court.

Indeed, he says that if she was on the court now, he might be campaigning to boot her off, too.

"If her record to date were her judicial record, then yes," Arnold says, he would oppose her reelection. "But let's see if she can make the shift from being an advocate to being a judge. I do think it's fair to see what she does on the bench."

Even so, Arnold confesses to being "skeptical. It's difficult to overcome a lifetime of habits of being an activist. Her entire life has been on that path. I think it would have been more logical to see what she'd do on a lower court, instead of rocketing her right to the top."

bill ritter announcing monica marquez as new supreme court justice.jpg
Bill Ritter announcing the selection of Monica Marquez.
In Arnold's view, Marquez, who is both Latina and gay, topped two more experienced candidates in part because of backing by the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association. "We should be choosing someone because they'll make a great justice, not because of identity politics," he maintains.

As for her track record, he slams her argument that fees aren't taxes, made in association with a vehicle registration case from last year, and what he sees as other philosophical similarities to the current justices he opposes: Michael Bender, Alex Martinez and Nancy Rice. And he's not reassured by the support given her selection by Attorney General John Suthers, a colleague of Marquez's, yet also someone who earlier this year expressed antipathy about several of the justices Clear the Bench has targeted.

"John Suthers is a lawyer and Monica Marquez is a lawyer," he notes. "They've been working for the office for quite a while, and if anything, it shows that birds of a feather flock together. I don't want to slam Suthers too much, but I think the legal establishment tends to run in a pack, which I think is more in the interest of that group than the citizens. We'll see, though. Obviously, Suthers knows her better than I do, and I hope he's right."

In the meantime, Arnold continues to decry the selection process for Supreme Court justices, which he considers to be secretive and suspect, and to tout the results of a recent survey showing widespread discontent with Bender, Martinez and Rice.

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