This page is a compilation of answers to questions we get frequently. If you can't find an answer to your question, do not hesitate to contact us.
What is CJI?
CJI is an independent, nonpartisan, statewide community organization and 501(c)(3) charity with the mission to promote excellence, equity, impartiality, and public trust in Colorado's courts through outreach, education, and engagement. We are the only organization of its kind with this focus.
CJI members and supporters include business and civic leaders, attorneys, judges, and everyday citizens who help preserve Colorado’s merit selection system for judges and keep the courtroom free from the influence of politics and special interests.
Why should I support CJI?
CJI's mission is to promote excellence, equity, impartiality, and public trust in Colorado's courts. We are the only organization of its kind with this focus.
Your support enables CJI to fulfill this mission through programs that include advocacy on behalf of Colorado's courts; scholarship funding for the continuing education of judges; awards that recognize outstanding judges; Diversity on the Bench, which helps ensure Colorado's courts reflect the diversity of the communities they serve; and public education about Colorado's courts and how they work.
Plus, with your individual or corporate donation, you join CJI’s membership community and gain membership benefits in addition to the satisfaction of supporting a worthy cause.
We’re always on the lookout for individuals like you wanting to get involved. Visit our How To Help section to find out ways to donate or volunteer.
Is my donation to CJI tax deductible?
Yes, CJI is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization with Tax ID 74-2119505, and membership and charitable donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. For individual membership and charitable donations, CJI acknowledges with a receipt letter confirming it provides no goods or services in return. For corporate membership donations and sponsorships, the receipt letter provides information outlining the donation and benefit amounts.
Does Colorado elect its judges?
No. Since 1966, Colorado has used a system based upon merit to select judges. When a judicial vacancy occurs, an announcement and call for applications goes out. Once the deadline for all applications has occurred, a nominating commission meets to interview applicants. The commission recommends two or three individuals for the governor to consider. The governor then appoints one of them to fill the vacancy.
Information on the nomination commissions and how you can become more involved can be found on the Colorado Judicial Branch's website at https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Supreme_Court/Nominating.cfm.
Why do judges appear on my ballot?
Colorado's constitution requires that each sitting judge periodically stand for retention election. A retention election is not a partisan contest. Voters are asked only whether to retain the judge in their current position by voting "yes" to retain or "no" not to retain the judge. Information about the judge's performance is gathered by a judicial performance commission and shared in the voter "blue book" and online at KnowYourJudge.com.
How long are judicial terms?
Judicial terms vary based upon the type of court in which a judge serves. Upon initial appointment, all judges serve a 2-year probationary term and then stand for retention election. After this probationary term, the full terms are four years for county court judges, six years for district court judges, eight years for Court of Appeals judges, and ten years for Supreme Court justices. When terms expire, the judge or justice stands for additional retention elections.
Where can I get more information on Colorado judges before I vote?
Information about the performance of Colorado judges is shared in the voter "blue book" before each election and is also available online at KnowYourJudge.com. The Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation gathers this information from the work of judicial performance commissions based in each judicial district across Colorado. The legislation that establishes the judicial performance program can be found in the Colorado Revised Statutes 13- 5.5-101 thru 13-5.5-109.