DENVER | President Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated Allison Eid, a conservative Colorado Supreme Court justice, to serve on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Eid would replace Neil Gorsuch, who was confirmed in April to the nation’s highest court. Trump considered Eid last year as a Supreme Court candidate.
Her nomination goes to the U.S. Senate. Through a spokesman, Eid declined comment.
The 10th Circuit’s jurisdiction includes Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Utah.
Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner applauded the nomination, saying in a statement he’d known Eid since law school at the University of Colorado.
“I look forward to supporting Allison throughout her confirmation process,” Gardner said.
Former Republican Gov. Bill Owens appointed Eid to the state’s highest court in 2006, and she was retained by voters in 2011. Educated at Stanford and the University of Chicago, Eid is a former state solicitor general and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Eid was an assistant and speechwriter to Education Secretary William J. Bennet under President Ronald Reagan. In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed her to a panel preparing a history of the U.S. Supreme Court. Eid also is a former University of Colorado Law School professor.
This year, Eid wrote a Supreme Court opinion reversing a lower court’s finding that police couldn’t destroy marijuana seized as evidence in a criminal investigation but had to preserve and, if necessary, return it to its owners. Recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado but remains illegal under federal law.
“Compliance with the return provision necessarily requires law enforcement officers to violate federal law,” Eid wrote.
In 2012, Eid sharply dissented from a court opinion upholding a congressional redistricting process that made several Colorado seats more competitive. She argued redistricting should be as minimally disruptive as possible, especially since Colorado didn’t gain or lose any seats after the 2010 U.S. Census.
Eid’s departure would allow Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper to make his fourth appointment to the seven-member state Supreme Court.
Hickenlooper appointed justices Brian Boatright, William Hood III and Richard Gabriel, while Democratic Govs. Roy Romer and Bill Ritter appointed Chief Justice Nancy Rice and Justice Monica Marquez, respectively. Justice Nathan Coats was appointed by Republican Gov. Bill Owens.
Eid is married to Troy Eid, a former U.S. attorney for Colorado.