Colorado’s high courts are nearly as diverse as the state

The Colorado Supreme Court convenes at the Ralph Carr Judicial Center in December 2021. Photo: RJ Sangosti/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado Supreme Court closely reflects the overall ethnic composition of the state.

Why is this important: The judges of the seat decide on the case with lasting and sometimes immediate impacts on people and systems through civil and criminal law decisions.

  • Since the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, many activists now see the November general election as one of the last firewalls protecting access to abortion, writes Stef W. Kight of Axios.

Details: Justices of color make up at least 29 percent of Colorado’s seven Supreme Court justices; two are Latinos.

  • People of color make up about one-third of Colorado’s 5.8 million people.
  • Latinos make up about 22% of the state’s population.
  • Judge Monica M. Márquez became the first Latina and first LGBTQ woman to the highest court in the state when she was appointed in 2010.
  • The Colorado Supreme Court has a slightly higher number of judges of color than the national rate. As of May 18, only 18% of high court judges were black, Latino, Asian, Native American or multicultural.

The big picture: Three of Colorado’s seven high court judges (43%) are women.

  • This is slightly more than the national rate (41%). Nine states have only one woman serving on their respective supreme courts.
  • The challenges remain. An independent survey found that women who work for the state Judiciary Department “consistently had a darker view of their work environment than men.” the Denver Post reported this week.

Yes, but: There are no black justices on the Colorado Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals, reports the Denver Gazette.

  • Black residents make up about 5% of the state’s population.


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