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October 27, 2011 07:29 PM UTC

Brian Boatright, You're the Next Contest on the Colo. Supreme Court!

  • by: Colorado Pols

Governor John Hickenlooper announced today that he has appointed Brian Boatright to succeed retiring Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex Martinez.

Full press release after the jump.

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today his appointment of Judge Brian Boatright to the Colorado Supreme Court. Boatright will replace Justice Alex Martinez, who is retiring Oct. 31 after 14 years on the bench.

“Brian Boatright has a great capacity to listen and evaluate the implications of his decisions,” Hickenlooper said. “He is a seasoned trial judge whose ability to collaborate and find consensus is built on a fundamental understanding of law. We commend him for his public service in the courtroom and for his involvement in the community. Brian will make an outstanding member of the Colorado Supreme Court.”

Boatright, 49, is the 102nd person in the state’s history to be appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court.

He has been a District Court Judge in the 1st Judicial District (Jefferson and Gilpin counties) since 1999. Boatright has dedicated much of his time on the bench presiding over juvenile matters and was voted Colorado CASA Judicial Officer of the Year in 2011.

Boatright also served as a Deputy District Attorney for the 1st Judicial District (1990-1999).  He earlier was an associate attorney at Boatright and Ripp. Boatright earned a bachelor’s degree from Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., and a law degree from the University of Denver. He and his wife have two children and live in Arvada.

Boatright will serve a provisional term of two years. If retained by voters, he will then serve a 10-year term.


11 thoughts on “Brian Boatright, You’re the Next Contest on the Colo. Supreme Court!

  1. Boatwritght seems like a perfectly good judge and person, but he is a Republican.  Is Hick saying there are no qualified Democrats who can make impartial decisions?  After the reapportionment committee fiasco how much more will Colorado Democrats tolerate of this behavior that insures gridlock under the guise of bipartisanship?

    1. Hickenlooper’s buddy Michael Bennet negotiated a terrible deal with the banksters.  Eventually, soon I hope, the people in Colorado will wake up and realize what Senator Bennet did was to ensure that the state pension goes broke.  

      Hickenlooper needs a Republican judge so he push though his pay-for-performance-destroy-education in Colorado agenda.  And he is protecting Michael Bennet.

      What he doesn’t realize is the day of reckoning is coming.  

  2. it would be nice to see some comments from people who actually know Boatright’s work; i know it only indirectly, so i should bite my tongue, but people who do know, particularly women, are sick about this appointment; this is a man who has a bobblehead of Antonin Scalia in his office

  3. and have had a few relatively minor cases that I’ve worked on before him, and had no complaints – although my case load and his docket have rarely overlapped in recent years (I don’t do a lot of juvenile law in JeffCo), and I don’t know him particularly well.  

    He is diligent, intelligent and not notorious (indeed few judges have been more broadly recognized for good judging was was recognized by the Colorado Bar in 2011 and has been evaluated very highly in the judicial retention process).

    He has more varied experience (many years as a judge, eight years a deputy DA, and before that as an associate attorney in a small law firm serving middle class clients where I used to work) than the other two candidates.  “For the last five years, he’s overseen his district’s juvenile court docket” (which includes a mix of quasi-criminal juvenile delinquency cases with a rehabilitation focus, abuse and neglect cases, non-marital custody cases, and paternity and support cases).  The criminal and juvenile docket are the province mostly of the working class and the poor.  His private practice experience was mostly the province of the middle class.  

    But, I can’t claim to have a lot of knowledge about how he will do on the public policy issues that are addressed by the Colorado Supreme Court and will have to trust that Hickenlooper has good judgment in that regard.  

    FWIW, Frederick Martinez, the registered Democrat among the finalists, is a labor lawyer who represents management in labor-management disputes, represents big business generally in corporate matters, and recently made a campaign contribution to a Republican DA candidate.  Perhaps he would be more liberal on policy matters before the Colorado Supreme Court than Boatright, but that isn’t a foregone conclusion.

    Patrick O’Rourke, the third candidate (and an unaffiliated voter) is the head of the University of Colorado’s litigation department (which means defending employment lawsuits, fighting civil rights suits, and a little bit of everything else in civil litigation).  He too would have been a question mark politically.

    Neither of the other two candidates has any experience with the criminal law issues that make up half of the Colorado Supreme Court docket, or with a number of other issues that take up a fairly large share of the Colorado Supreme Court’s time (e.g. juvenile law).

    Hickenlooper doesn’t get to nominate a candidate.  He gets to choose his favorite from the three people presented to him.  Assuming that once you get to the final three you are thinking about politics rather than competence (all three were clearly competent), I suspect that Hickenlooper concluded that Boatright’s greater familiarity with “how the other half lives” and representing ordinary people in private practice will give him the empathy that this experience has afforded him and that this was more important than his formal political affiliation or the risk that he will be a partisan on hot button issues.  (Of course, it also provides Hick credibility as a moderate if he runs for re-election.)

    1. I’m ashamed of Obama & Hickenlooper and I voted for them. But Bennet I did not, could not and would not.  

      As a lifelong Democrat I am extremely disappointed.  I see the corruption like I have never seen it before.  Occupy Denver please and help us to turn this state around.

      1. If you know better than I do about anything I’d said, inform us.  I’m always happy to learn more than I know and take it seriously.

        I am certainly not someone who subscribes to the position that all registered Republicans are bad people, even when I disagree with them.  

        If you disagree, it would behoove you to at least say what decision Hickenlooper should have made and why.

  4. I think he’s getting a pass from the Dems. I don’t think this is what I voted for in voting for him, which I did. Replacing a Latino liberal with an Anglo Republican that will likely sit on the bench for `20 years, or more, dissapoints.

    1. What would you expect from the man that hired Bennet to negotiate the worst deal in the history of the DPS and subsequently the State Pension Fund.  Hickenlooper knows this is going to blow up in his face and he is stacking the deck to get his pay-for-performance-destroy-education-in-Colorado agenda passed so that people don’t make the connection that it was Hickenlooper’s appointment of Bennet that will cause the pension fund in Colorado to go bust.  

  5. Perhaps this is yet another move to insulate himself by trying to make Republicans happy. But it will just make Republicans call him a “pussy” or “faggot” (in the words of our two resident Republicans).  

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