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Thursday, October 4,2012

Court of Appeals: Retain Judge Daniel Marc Taubman

Court of Appeals — Daniel Marc Taubman


Do not retain

How did the winner of the 2012 Judicial Excellence Award from the Denver Bar Association wind up as the closest call in our judicial endorsements? One very tricky ruling.

First, Judge Daniel Marc Taubman’s credentials are excellent. He’s a Peace Corps alumnus, he works for access to justice for the poor, he’s the chair of the Colorado Bar Association Ethics Committee. Prior to the appellate court, he didn’t work at a law firm, he worked at legal services programs.

He sounds great. But he nearly earned our ire for writing, in a December 2011 opinion declaring that Montrose County was right to issue a permit for a uranium and vanadium mill to Energy Fuels Resources Corp., that uranium tailings “do not constitute hazardous waste.”

Yes, we were disgusted at first, too.

But wait. Taubman’s ruling was that the corporation and the county had followed all the rules in applying for and granting the permit, and that the tailings weren’t hazardous waste “within the meaning of the Montrose County Zoning Resolution.”

In other words, Taubman’s hands were tied. It’s not his job to stop bad ideas, it’s his job to see if laws and rules were followed. It appears they were,

even if the rules themselves aren’t very good. So Taubman made the right call, and we give him our endorsement.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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