When a civil claim is first raised in a Colorado trial court, it has both the right andthe duty to adjudicate and determine it -- and any attempt to take that right andduty away is null and void.
Western Union, supra.
Conversely, the Colorado Supreme Court, “except as otherwise provided in thisconstitution, shall have appellate jurisdiction only.”
Colo. Const. art. VI ,
Ithas original jurisdiction to issue writs,
Id., art. VI,
but even that authority isdiscretionary.
Shore v. District Court, 127 Colo. 487,258 P.2d 485 (1953
). Unlikeits federal counterpart,
it has no other judicial powers,
and cannot expand itsown jurisdiction by rule of court.
People ex rel. City of Aurora v. Smith, 162 Colo.72,424 P.2d 772 (1967).
As such, its authority over bar admission matters canonly come from its general superintending control over the courts,
Colo. Const.art. VI ,
and it can only act as an administrative agency answerable to theColorado and federal constitutions, and by implication, this Court.
While the Defendants’ “subject-matter jurisdiction” argument is flimsy enoughunder state law, it is breathtakingly frivolous under federal law, for under theSupremacy Clause,
U.S. Const. art. VI, sec. 2
, this Court has a duty to enforcefederal law.
Howlett v. Rose,496 U.S. 356, 367-76 (1990).
Courtobserved:A state court may not deny a federal right, when the parties andcontroversy are properly before it, in the absence of “valid excuse.”“The existence of the jurisdiction creates an implication of duty toexercise it.”An excuse that is inconsistent with or violates federal law is not a validexcuse.
Howlett,496 U.S. at 369-70 (citations omitted).
“The force of the Supremacy Clause is not so weak that it can be evaded bymere mention of the word ‘jurisdiction.’”
Id.,496 U.S. at 382-83 .
But if theDefendants could have their way,
state court would have authority to hearSmith’s Section 1983 claims. This is clearly inconsistent with federal law, andwould not qualify as a “valid excuse.”
Cf., Id.,496 U.S. at 374-75 (“valid excuse” essentially limited to forum non conveniens).
It’s a matter of headnote law: “State courts as well as federal courts haveurisdiction over
Id.,496 U.S. at 358 .
Smith has advanced claimsunder Section 1983 which allege, for example, that his right to procedural dueprocess was violated. But while Smith may not have a constitutional right topractice law, he has an absolute right to procedural due process,