Hot Sheet

Not everyone thinks Colorado’s Allison Eid should be on the federal appellate bench

Author: Dan Njegomir - August 15, 2017 - Updated: August 15, 2017

In this March 13, 2006, file photo, Allison Eid is sworn in as chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court in Denver. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court justices he plans to vet to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia. (AP Photo/Linda McConnell, Pool, File)Allison Eid is sworn in as a justice of the Colorado Supreme Court in Denver in 2006. (AP Photo/Linda McConnell, Pool, File)

The response to Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid’s nomination in June to the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has mostly ranged from effusive praise on the political right to polite reserve along the rest of the spectrum. As an example of the latter, Colorado senior Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet was nothing if not respectful when the nomination was announced though he didn’t tip his hand as to his likely vote in Eid’s pending confirmation proceedings before the Senate.

While miffed at the Trump administration over its disregard for procedural protocol in the way it nominated Eid, Bennet was statesmanlike about the judge herself: “Nonetheless, Justice Eid deserves full consideration by the United States Senate,” he said of his fellow Coloradan. “I look forward to reviewing her record and writings in the weeks ahead.” An acknowledgment, perhaps in part, of her solid standing in the legal community, where among other things she earned a “well qualified” rating from the American Bar Association. Ideology aside, she is viewed as a competent jurist.

So, isn’t there any push-back from the left of center? The Alliance for Justice stepped forward this week to offer precisely that.

The liberal Washington, D.C.-based judicial think tank doesn’t think much of Eid’s record on the legal issues that have come before her during her time on Colorado’s highest court. In a lengthy statement to the media, longtime alliance President Nan Aron touts a report the group produced on Eid and denounces her nomination:

“In tapping Allison Eid for the Tenth Circuit, Donald Trump has chosen a person whose views are so extreme that she is frequently the lone dissenter in rulings made by the Colorado Supreme Court. Eid is an ultraconservative outlier who has taken aim at workers’ rights, at public education, voting rights, and the environment. She does not belong on the federal bench, and we urge senators to oppose her confirmation.”

Among her transgressions, which the press statement summarizes from the alliance report:

  • Eid was on the original list of potential Supreme Court nominees provided to President Trump by the Federalist Society and  Heritage Foundation, which he made clear was based on a litmus test that included overturning Roe v. Wade.
  • Eid has ruled in ways that would undermine public education: in favor of allowing public dollars to finance religious schools, against efforts to increase funding for public schools, and against teachers’ rights.
  • Eid’s rulings against workers’ rights include a dissent in which she wrote that a employee who fell at work was not entitled to workers’ compensation because she couldn’t prove her employer was at fault in her injury. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the worker was entitled to compensation.

Give the alliance credit for being straightforward, right? None of the procedural game playing that can be used to scuttle a nomination in the Senate; no hint of scandal or digs at her competence. The Alliance for Justice simply doesn’t agree with Eid’s world view.

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is the opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.