News Now: Your One Minute Legal Insight (New Judges, Wedding Cakes, and School Vouchers)

December 13, 2017

By Chris Jackson

As always, there’s plenty of public law news to cover this month from Colorado and beyond. Here are your highlights:

  • A new Colorado Supreme Court justice.  The Supreme Court Nominating Commission announced its three finalists to fill Allison Eid’s former seat on the state’s highest court. The Denver Post quotes attorney Chris Jackson in its discussion of the nominees: Melissa Hart (professor at Colorado Law), Marcy Glenn (partner at Holland & Hart), and Pattie Swift (chief judge of 12th judicial district). Governor Hickenlooper should announce his pick by tomorrow.
  • A new Colorado Court of Appeals judge, too! Colorado’s Supreme Court isn’t the only judicial body getting a new member. This week the Governor will also appoint a judge to the state’s intermediate appellate court. The three finalists are Michael Beaver (partner at Holland & Hart), Ted Tow (17th judicial district judge), and Jami Vigil (4th judicial district magistrate).
  • Masterpiece Cakeshop. Last week the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case about a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding. In this appeal—arguably the biggest of the term—the Court will have to decide whether enforcement of the Colorado law forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation violates the First Amendment. The Court will probably issue its decision in June 2018.
  • DougCo vouchers program shut down. A newly elected Douglas County school board voted to end the controversial Choice Scholarship Program. As we mentioned last month, this will probably moot the case that challenged the program on state constitutional grounds.


Chris Jackson is a litigator at Sherman & Howard whose practice lies at the intersection of private and public law. He frequently writes and comments on appellate law, elections, and campaign finance (particularly in Colorado). Follow Chris on Twitter at @COAppeals.