Court of Appeals: Retain Judge Daniel Marc Taubman


Court of Appeals — Daniel Marc Taubman


Do not retain

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.