CJI Chair Barbara Randell (second from left) and CJI Awards Chair Justice Michael Bender (third from right) join honorees Judge Gale Miller, Judge Gary Jackson, Magistrate Frances Johnson and Judge John Popovich.
Colorado Judicial Institute’s 15th Annual Judicial Excellence for Colorado Dinner
By Amy Ostheimer, CJI Executive Director
Approximately 600 people attended the Colorado Judicial Institute’s 15th Annual Judicial Excellence for Colorado Dinner to celebrate judicial excellence and to support judicial education, Our Courts, the Colorado judicial system and the Colorado Judicial Institute (CJI).
Barbara Randell, CJI’s chair, highlighted the growth of awareness of our judicial merit based selection, judicial education and the education of the public regarding Colorado’s judicial system.
Former Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender, chair of CJI’s Judicial Excellence Awards Committee, announced this year’s four jurists and stressed the importance of recognizing the state’s unbiased and trustworthy judges and magistrates.
CJI honored the following for their judicial excellence on the bench and in their communities:
Judicial Excellence Awards:
Magistrate Frances R. Johnson, 4th Judicial District
County Court Judge Gary M. Jackson, 2nd Judicial District
District Court Judge John E. Popovich, 17th Judicial District (retired)
Distinguished Judicial Leadership Award:
Colorado Court of Appeals Judge Gale T. Miller (retired)
Former South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal, a nationally recognized judicial reformer, addressed the question, “Can politics be removed from the legislative judicial selection?” Now retired, Chief Justice Toal was the first woman on the South Carolina Supreme Court and the first female justice of that body. She hailed Colorado’s court system as one of the nation’s finest and fairest and doubts any state did better than Colorado in establishing merit selection.
The Colorado Judicial Institute is a non-partisan citizen organization dedicated to preserving fair and impartial courts in Colorado while fostering excellence in the state’s judiciary and furthering public understanding of the judicial system.