This month has been a difficult one for the legal community. Here are your public-law highlights:
- Federal bench loses two. Two members of Colorado’s federal district court passed away this month. Wiley Daniel, Colorado’s first African American federal judge, died on May 10. Daniel, who had previously served as the only black president of the Colorado Bar Association, was appointed by President Clinton in 1995. Just a couple of weeks later, Richard Matsch, appointed by President Nixon in 1974, also passed away. Matsch was best known for presiding over the Oklahoma City bombing trials in the 1990s.
- Galindo resigns. Rochelle Galindo, a recently elected state representative from Greeley, abruptly resigned her seat on May 12, declaring that “allegations” against her were false. Multiple news outlets later reported that the allegations were of sexual assault. The Greeley police completed an investigation and did not find evidence to bring those charges; they issued a citation against Galindo for providing alcohol to a person under 21. A vacancy committee will select Galindo’s replacement.
- Supreme Court recognizes privacy interest in marijuana possession. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the state constitution gives a person 21 years or older a reasonable expectation of privacy in possessing 1 ounce or less of marijuana. Attorney Chris Jackson is quoted in the Colorado Sun’s coverage of the decision.
- ACLU sues state official over social-media blocking. The ACLU of Colorado has sued state senator Ray Scott, asking a federal court to resolve the question of whether a public official may block a constituent on social media. Attorney Chris Jackson is quoted in the Sun’s coverage of the case.
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.