Don Quick for attorney general
Don Quick will bring fresh energy, and a fresh perspective to the state attorney general’s office if voters send him to Denver in November.
He will also bring to the AG’s office a power he won himself in 2003 when, as chief deputy, he refused to defend a gerrymandered redistricting rammed through by Republicans in the closing hours of a session.
When Republican legislators insisted he had to defend any laws they passed, Quick and other members of Attorney General Ken Salazar’s staff appealed to the state Supreme Court. The court ruled in their favor. It was within the responsibility of the attorney general’s “ethical duties and oath of office” to challenge a law that appeared to be unconstitutional.
Colorado’s anti-same-sex-marriage legislation will very likely be declared unconstitutional if it comes before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. A growing number of precedents in other federal district courts suggests a federal judiciary leaning toward legalizing same-sex marriage.
Even the Supreme Court has recognized the right to marry as a fundamental constitutional right for Americans.
Meantime, states like Colorado that have prohibitions against same-sex marriage are facing the choice of fighting an expensive, divisive and ultimately losing battle against “freedom to marry” lawsuits filed in federal court or taking steps to recognize the equal rights of all Coloradans.
This is one of the first issues the next state attorney general will face after taking office. A lawsuit is moving through the system that will lead to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the rights of same sex couples in Colorado.
According to the most recent Quinnipiac poll, conducted between April 15-21, “On the issue of same-sex marriage, 61 percent of (Colorado) voters support allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state and 33 percent are opposed. Democrats support same-sex marriage in the state 85 to 12 percent, while Republicans are opposed 58 to 34 percent.”
Despite the obvious opinion of the majority, current Attorney General John Suthers insists on supporting the state prohibition against same-sex marriage.
He will probably lose in court, after costing the state significant money and valuable time lost from more important cases.
By contrast, Democratic Attorney General candidate Don Quick, regardless of his personal preferences, recognizes that lesbian and gay couples have the same constitutional right as any other two Coloradans to share the full benefits, emotional and material, of marriage.
“I will fight to protect Colorado’s laws, and that includes laws that I don’t personally support,” Quick said. “However, above all else, the Attorney General swears an oath to uphold the United States Constitution. If a law is unconstitutional, the Attorney General has an obligation to say so.”
Quick could run effectively on his record as a successful elected district attorney for two terms. His effectiveness in putting criminals behind bars was demonstrated by his success rate as DA in Adams and Broomfield Counties, even with difficult cases that could have been settled with a plea bargain.
One of Quick’s principles is that a tough prosecutor must not fear to try the hard cases. As his website points out, “Don’s office was a state leader in the number of cases tried. Don has personally tried over 100 cases, including murders, sex offenses, drug trafficking, and child abuse.”
Quick’s 25 years prosecuting cases has not just been about putting bad guys in prison. His role as innovator in the court system, particularly in regard to protecting the rights of victims, adds another dimension to his legal work.
For example, DA Quick implemented the first “DA Fast Track” system in the state to bring domestic abuse cases to trial more quickly. This results in effective protection for the victim and prompt intervention with the offender.
Under Quick’s leadership, A sexual assault response team was implemented in the 17th Judicial District —Adams and Broomfield Counties — to improve services for victims of domestic violence.
For his success in curtailing domestic violence and protecting victims, he was given an Exemplary Leadership Award by the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance and a Lifetime Leadership Award from the Fields Foundation.
Quick has the experience, the passion for justice and the energy and skill to effectively represent the state’s legal interests. Voters should make sure he represents our interests in the AG’s office next November.