News Now: Your One Minute Legal Insight (New Year, New Judges, New Lawsuits)

By Chris Jackson

January 9, 2018 – On behalf of everyone at Sherman & Howard, I want to wish you a happy new year! Here’s what you might have missed while ringing in 2018:

  • Hart appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court. Governor Hickenlooper appointed CU-Boulder law professor Melissa Hart to the state’s highest court. Colorado Matters interviewed attorney Chris Jackson about Hart’s appointment—available here (starting at 18:25).
  • Colorado Supreme Court will hear several big cases in 2018. Justice Hart will participate in a number of high-profile appeals this year, including Rooks v. Rooks (disposition of frozen embryos after dissolution of marriage); Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission v. Martinez (how environmental concerns factor into rulemaking); and Colorado Union of Taxpayers Foundation v. Aspen & TABOR Foundation v. RTD (two cases on the difference between a “tax” and a “fee” under TABOR).
  • Ted Tow appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Governor Hickenlooper made another judicial appointment last month, installing Judge Ted Tow III to the state’s intermediate appellate court. Previously Tow served as a judge on the 17th Judicial District.
  • Will Justice Kennedy retire in 2018? SCOTUS watchers have been abuzz with rumors that Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court’s swing vote, will retire at the close of this term in June 2018. But he may not be stepping down just yet. Above the Law reports that the 81-year-old Justice hired a full complement of four clerks for the 2018-19 term. That move suggests—but by no means guarantees—that he’ll stick around for at least another year.
  • Lawsuit challenges Denver’s new campaign finance rules. The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit seeking to strike down some of Denver’s new campaign finance rules. This case is just the latest skirmish in a years-long war over disclosure requirements that go after so-called “dark money.”

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.