gavel court justice colorado

There have been more Black women appointed to judgeships in Colorado — five — during the Polis Administration than in the past 42 years combined, Essence magazine reports.

“This is the kind of leadership that really gives you hope,” Judge Jill Dorancy, a district judge in Denver, told Essence. “I’m honored and humbled to have been appointed by a governor who is committed to ensuring diversity on the bench.”

There are a total of eight Black women serving as judges in the state, not including magistrates. Those whom Polis appointed will stand for a retention vote after a probationary period.

The Denver Post reported earlier this summer that Black and Latino individuals are underrepresented among judges, public defenders and district attorneys relative to their population in the state overall. 

Currently, there are no Black judges on the 22-member Court of Appeals or the seven-member Supreme Court. Gary M. Jackson, a Denver County Court judge who has been an advocate for judicial diversity, pointed out that "there has not been an African-American justice in more than 20 years on the Colorado Supreme Court.”

Polis will have an opportunity to appoint a new justice in January 2021 upon the retirement of Chief Justice Nathan B. Coats.

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