Mario NicolaisMario NicolaisFebruary 1, 20175min422

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.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningJanuary 24, 20174min503

Conservative Colorado judge Neil Gorsuch is the leading contender for President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination, which could happen as early as next week, according to media reports. Gorsuch, who sits on the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, was included in a list of 21 potential nominees for the Supreme Court released earlier by the Trump campaign and has recently emerged as the front-runner on a shortlist of six possibilities, sources close to Trump say.

Colorado PoliticsColorado PoliticsDecember 12, 201619min492

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.


Mario NicolaisMario NicolaisNovember 30, 20165min389

Earlier this year, I compared the Republican Supreme Court challenge to playing poker. With President Obama nominating Merrick Garland for the vacant seat left after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the GOP-controlled Senate refused to hold hearings, much less a vote. Republicans were betting on a winning back the Oval Office and maintaining control of the Senate. Even the day before Election Day, that strategy seemed to be the longest of odds. With polls showing Hillary Clinton with commanding leads — including in the Electoral College — and Democrats poised to pick up enough Senate seats to gain either a 50-50 split or even an outright majority, Republicans seemed to be drawing dead. Democrats had a strong made hand; let’s call it a straight flush. In contrast, Republicans needed to pull not just one miracle draw card, but two.


Clifford D. MayClifford D. MayNovember 24, 20168min487

First and foremost: Nothing is more pivotal to democratic governance then holding free and fair elections that lead to a peaceful transference of power. Over the past week, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama all demonstrated that they get that. This is an achievement that should not be taken for granted — an achievement that remains out of reach in too many of the world’s nations. Sadly, thousands of Americans are too ignorant to comprehend that. They have been not just protesting — that’s fine, that’s their right — but attacking Trump supporters, burning American flags and vandalizing property. Not without justification do Trump voters see this as confirmation that they made the right choice. The majority of those voters live in “flyover country,” the vast American heartland between the Acela Corridor and the Left Coast. Most pollsters and journalists, ostensible pulse-takers of the nation, had not a clue as to what they were thinking.


Mario NicolaisMario NicolaisSeptember 28, 20165min366

Tick-tock, tick-tock. The political world is officially measuring the distance to this November’s election in days, now. What once seemed endlessly far, the race to Nov. 8 is in the homestretch. But Oct. 7 is even closer. If the date doesn’t make anything jump immediately to mind, that’s all right. It probably doesn’t for most people. For United States senators and Supreme Court justice nominee Merrick Garland, though, it is a critical date. Oct. 7 is the last scheduled day the U.S. Senate will be in session before his year’s election.


Jennifer KernsJennifer KernsApril 13, 201610min570

There is a reason so many Republican candidates are in the race to take a shot at unseating Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet ... besides the fact the GOP's stronger top-tier bench of candidates all decided not to run. Colorado's open Senate seat is one of nine seats nationwide that has been identified as competitive, and in one of the most important battleground states to boot. While Bennet is incredibly well-funded and financially prepared for a fight, the fact that the Senate seat is in play during a presidential year complicates the equation for him and the Democratic Party. Historically, Senate seats are uniquely tied to presidential races and can pivot on a dime depending on the national mood of the electorate.


Mario NicolaisMario NicolaisMarch 17, 20166min1229

Harvard valedictorian. Brilliant. Chief Judge of the D.C Circuit Court of Appeals. Prosecutor in charge after the Oklahoma City bombing. A “judge’s judge.” All things that describe President Obama’s pick to fill the vacant seat on the United States Supreme Court, Merrick Garland. And then there are a couple things that describe what he is not.


Ernest LuningErnest LuningMarch 16, 201611min285

Colorado’s two U.S. senators had opposite reactions to President Barack Obama’s nomination Wednesday of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, with Republican Cory Gardner reiterating his position that the Senate should refuse to take up an Obama pick and Democrat Michael Bennet calling on the Senate to “do its job” and consider the nomination.