Guv appoints justice to high court

Brian Boatright will become Colorado’s newest Supreme Court justice.

Gov. John Hickenlooper picked him from a field of three as the best person to replace Justice Alex Martinez, who is leaving Monday to become manager of safety under Denver’s new mayor, Michael Hancock.

Boatright is Hickenlooper’s first appointment to the high court.

“Brian Boatright has a great capacity to listen and evaluate the implications of his decisions,” Hickenlooper said. “He is a seasoned trial judge whose ability to collaborate and find consensus is built on an understanding of law.”

Boatright, 49, is a district court judge in the 1st Judicial District, which covers Jefferson and Gilpin counties. He handles all juvenile matters for the district court and oversees some criminal, civil and mental-health issues.

Prior to being appointed to the bench by Republican Gov. Bill Owens in 1999, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law graduate was a deputy district attorney in Jefferson County. Before that, Boatright was in private practice.

He was chosen for the post over corporate attorney Frederick Martinez of Castle Pines and Highlands Ranch attorney Patrick T. O’Rourke.

The appointment drew immediate praise from around the state, including Republicans.

“Judge Boatright’s commitment to applying the law as intended by the Legislature and his experience as a trial court judge are welcome attributes to the court,” said Rep. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs, an attorney and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Boatright is a registered Republican, according to the state’s voter registration database.

The First Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance gave Boatright high praise in his last review in 2008, saying it couldn’t find any weaknesses that were noteworthy.

“Judge Boatright is a conscientious professional who is bright and articulate with an outstanding demeanor,” the commission wrote. “He is knowledgeable both in the rules of evidence and in the law. He is patient and courteous to all who appear before him.”


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