Colorado Judge Faces Rare Impeachment for Ruling in Child-Custody Case


The first impeachment proceeding in the Colorado legislature in 65 years began Thursday, with cries of judicial tyranny and counter calls to trust the courts.

But after five hours of sober and serious testimony, the House Judiciary Committee postponed a vote on the resolution that seeks to impeach Denver District Judge John Coughlin, reports the Rocky Mountain News.

Committee members want time to read the transcript of Coughlin’s ruling in a child custody case involving a lesbian couple that is at the heart of the impeachment effort.

The impeachment was brought by Rep. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, who said Coughlin violated the constitutional religious freedoms of Cheryl Clark and her adopted daughter.

Coughlin was ruling in a custody case between Clark, a Christian, and Elsey McLeod, her former partner, when he wrote that Clark would have sole decision-making over the child’s religious upbringing. However, Coughlin barred Clark from teaching the child anything that would be “considered homophobic.”

Before a packed crowd in the Old Supreme Court Chambers, Brophy said he couldn’t sit idly by when he needed to protect citizens from the “runaway judicial branch.”


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