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Alex Martinez

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Alex Martinez
CO martinez.jpg
Court Information:
Colorado Supreme Court
Title:   Former Justice
Appointed by:   Roy Romer
Active:   1997-2021
Past post:   Colorado 10th District Court
Past term:   1988-1997
Personal History
Undergraduate:   University of Colorado, 1973
Law School:   University of Colorado School of Law, 1976

Alex J. Martinez is a former Associate Justice on the seven member Colorado Supreme Court. He was first appointed to this position in January of 1997 after being nominated by the Supreme Court Nominating Commission and appointed by Governor Roy Romer. He was successfully retained in 2000 and 2010. His last term was set to end in January of 2021, but he retired from the court on October 31, 2011.[1][2] During his retirement he plans to work as Denver's safety manager which oversees the city's fire and police departments.[3]


Martinez received a B.A. from the University of Colorado in 1973, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1976.[1]

Professional career

After his admission to the bar in 1976 Martinez became a Deputy State Public Defender in Denver. In 1979, he went worked as a supervisor for the Pueblo Office of the State Public Defender. Martinez was appointed to the Pueblo County Court by Governor Richard Lamm in 1983 beginning his career as a judge. In 1988, Governor Roy Romer promoted Martinez to the Colorado 10th District Court. Romer again promoted Martinez in January of 1997 to the Colorado Supreme Court where he served until October 2011.[1]

Awards and associations


  • William Lee Knous Award
  • Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement, University of Colorado School of Law
  • Pioneer In the Hispanic Community Award, Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association


  • Board of Trustees, Reed College
  • Board of Directors, Servicios de la Raza[1]



Colorado Supreme Court, Associate Justice
2010 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Alex Martinez Green check mark transparent.png 859,051 60%
Against retention 584,026 40%
  • Click here for 2010 General Election Results from the Colorado Secretary of State.
Main article: Colorado judicial elections, 2010

This is the lowest percentage of "retain" votes received by an incumbent supreme court justice in state history.

There is a movement headed by judicial reform organization Clear the Bench Colorado not to retain Justice Martinez, along with the other two justices up for a 2010 retention vote. (Originally three, but Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey resigned before the elections)[4] Critics of the court say "the majority of the justices' rulings on property taxes, eminent domain and congressional redistricting have violated the state's constitution or are clearly partisan".[5]

Performance Evaluations

The Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation voted 9-1 to recommend Martinez for retention. The COJPE reviews the answers of attorneys and District Judges and asked a variety of questions to determine the Judge's performance. The score is rated on a 4 point scale similar to school grades. Since 1990, which was the first election year after the statutory creation of judicial performance commissions and the use of performance evaluations, all Colorado Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges standing for retention have received do retain recommendations.[6] Until 2010 no additional information on judicial performance has been made available to the public.

Question classification Attorney score District Judge score Combined average
Impartiality 3.35 3.29 3.32
Clear opinions 3.19 3.08 3.14
Adequate explanation of opinion 3.33 3.46 3.4
Timely response 3.24 3.29 3.27
Response without criticism 3.6 3.58 3.59
Response based on law 3.25 3.37 3.31
Not ruling on extra issues 3.28 3.28 3.28
Respect towards all parties 3.71 3.74 3.73
No ex parte communications 3.87 3.76 3.82
Overall 3.35 3.43 3.39

Political Affiliations and Campaign Contributions

Justice Alex Martinez is currently listed as "nonpartisan." Because Colorado does not hold judicial elections, judges are selected on "merit" by the governor, Justice Martinez has no campaign contributions.[8]

Council recognizes Justice Martinez

Justice Alex J. Martinez has been recognized by the Colorado Freedom of Information Council (CFOIC) for his efforts to maximize public access to records of the courts contained in the Integrated Colorado Online Network (ICON), the Judicial Branch’s case management computer system. Justice Martinez is the chairman of the Supreme Court Public Access Committee.[9] “The Public Access Committee has been on a mission to refine both our information systems and our policies for convenient public access to those systems,” says Justice Martinez. “We seek to achieve a balance between the public’s interest in access to information and the individual’s privacy interests.”

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Martinez received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.27, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is less liberal than the average CF score of -0.29 that justices received in Colorado. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[10]

See also

External links