Hickenlooper Appoints New Supreme Court Judge

Fox 31's Eli Stokols is first to report the news:

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper plans to announce the appointment of William Hood to the state’s Supreme Court Friday afternoon, FOX31 Denver is first to report.

Hood, 50, will replace retiring Chief Justice Michael Bender. Justice Nancy E. Rice will take Bender’s place as Chief Justice, the court decided.

Hood is currently a District Court Judge in the Second Judicial District (City and County of Denver), a position he has held since being appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter in 2007.

Hickenlooper was under some natural pressure to appoint a Democrat to replace the liberal Bender with a similar-minded justice — particularly after his last appointment to fill a vacant seat; in 2011, Hickenlooper chose Jefferson County Republican Brian Boatright to replace the retiring Alex Martinez, a decision that did not sit well with Democrats. Martinez had been a liberal voice on the Colorado Supreme Court, and replacing him with the conservative Boatright may have ultimately been the difference in the Lobato education lawsuit.

Selecting Hood, a registered Democrat, keeps the court's political affiliations about the same: 3 liberals (Hood, Nancy Rice, Gregory Hobbs), 3 conservatives (Allison Eid, Nathan Coates,and Boatright), and 1 "Unaffiliated" (Monica Marquez).

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