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The Senate voted 56-41 on Thursday to confirm Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, filling the vacancy created by Justice Neil Gorsuch’s elevation to the U.S. Supreme Court, with both Colorado senators, Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican Cory Gardner, voting in favor of her confirmation.

While his vote may be in the minority regarding Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation as a U.S. Supreme Court justice, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s position and intent toward the process and Gorsuch himself have fueled political speculation and concerns over consequences. Gorsuch, a Colorado native and Denver-based federal appeals court judge, was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the seat vacated a year ago by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch, the son of the late Anne Gorsuch who was EPA chief under Ronald Reagan, would be the second Coloradan on the Supreme Court. Byron “Whizzer” White retired in 1993.

A perennially contentious proposal, this year’s religious freedom restoration bill, HB 17-1013, died a faster, quieter death than in years past. Sent to the state house committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs — a Democratic “kill committee” — in January, the bill’s fate was a foregone conclusion. While the political tumult over the bill declined dramatically, it nonetheless remains a fascinating case study in divergent conservative viewpoints on the topic.


DENVER — A state representative going to jail during the holidays? For the first time in decades … Oh my! Wasn’t there something about this in the Book of Revelations? Goodness. Good morning, and happy Monday. We guess it’s happy. But it’s sort of just a cold Monday. Stop it, stop it. Positive thoughts! HAPPY MONDAY! And positive vibes sent to all of you out there fighting through traffic or through your massive inbox pile stacked to the roof from inside your dreadful little cubicles. Only 29 days until the first day of school … we mean legislative session, class! Good grief, there we go with the negative vibes again. Sorry.

I wrote about Evenwel v. Abbott in my first column for the Statesman. At the time, the Supreme Court had just accepted the “one person, one vote” case. In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court reiterated that “one person, one vote” continues to be a constitutional rule when applied to the redistricting processes used by states. The court decision itself is pretty unexceptional. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg walked through the history of the rule, some prior decisions, the current application, and came to her conclusion affirming application of the rule. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito wrote concurrences. All justices declined to wade into theoretical alternative rules. All pretty standard. What got reported in the aftermath is what seemed exceptional. And telling.

Ten Years Ago this week in The Colorado Statesman … U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas introduced and lauded his former law clerk Allison Eid, who was sworn in as the 95th justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. Eid, appointed to the bench by Gov. Bill Owens, replaced Rebecca Love Kourlis, who had announced she was stepping down from the high court at the beginning of the year in order to help launch the University of Denver’s Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System.