The Post edi­to­rial: Al­li­son Eid should be con­firmed to re­place Neil Gur­such on 10th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals.

The Denver Post - - NEWS -

Al­li­son Eid has been a re­fresh­ing voice on the Colorado Supreme Court, and she would be a fine re­place­ment on the 10th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals for the seat left va­cant when Neil Gor­such was tapped for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump hopes Eid will help him fill a slew of fed­eral judge po­si­tions. Many of the posts were left va­cant for more than a year as an un­for­tu­nate con­se­quence of Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell’s shame­ful de­ci­sion to block Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s Supreme Court ap­point­ment.

The good news is that Trump has done a good job of se­lect­ing qual­i­fied, tal­ented, rel­a­tively young con­ser­va­tive judges for th­ese stolen posts. The bad news is — at least in this ap­point­ment — he hasn’t fol­lowed the nor­mal pro­to­col. Sen. Michael Ben­net, Colorado’s Demo­cratic se­na­tor, called it un­for­tu­nate that Trump failed to con­sult with his of­fice and lo­cal le­gal minds on the ap­point­ment.

The breach has rightly rubbed Ben­net the wrong way.

But Ben­net is go­ing to take the high road in this slight. Ben­net won’t try to block Eid from con­sid­er­a­tion. He will re­turn a re­view in the com­ing days — known as a blue slip — that other se­na­tors have threat­ened to with­hold as a type of fil­i­buster to de­lay nom­i­na­tions for their home states. Ben­net is tak­ing a stand against ob­struc­tion­ism, even when Re­pub­li­cans didn’t ex­tend the same cour­tesy. Eid is wor­thy of such a ges­ture. Sev­eral times this board has found her dis­sent­ing opin­ions to be on the right track.

In 2008, in a case where the ma­jor­ity of the court ruled the city of Tel­luride could take non-city land from a de­vel­oper in the name of con­ser­va­tion, Eid ar­gued for continuing “our cau­tious stance to­wards ex­tra-ter­ri­to­rial con­dem­na­tions … .”

Eid cor­rectly noted that em­i­nent do­main is wisely lim­ited in the state Con­sti­tu­tion to spe­cific pur­poses, like wa­ter works and power plants. She was the voice of rea­son in a case that set a bad prece­dent for the state.

More fa­mil­iar than the Tel­luride case for most Coloradans was Eid’s writ­ing on the Dou­glas County School Dis­trict’s foray into vouch­ers. The ma­jor­ity of the court ruled that Colorado’s Blaine Amend­ment lan­guage pro­hib­ited any pub­lic poli­cies that re­sulted, even in­ci­den­tally, in money go­ing to in­sti­tu­tions owned or run by re­li­gious groups — in this case re­li­gious schools.

Eid was not im­pressed, ar­gu­ing that par­ents, not the state, would be send­ing tax­payer money to re­li­gious schools, and if such a ma­jor­ity rul­ing were ap­plied con­sis­tently, it “would also sweep aside nu­mer­ous Colorado pro­grams that per­mit stu­dents to use gov­ern­ment funds to at­tend re­li­gious schools.”

Fi­nally, call it harsh, but Eid took a hard stand in 2009 with a dis­sent­ing opin­ion say­ing that Gov. Bill Rit­ter had over­stepped the Tax­payer’s Bill of Rights by freez­ing prop­erty tax mill levies across the state. That ac­tion clearly raised taxes for schools, and Eid held strong in a re­ces­sion that it was a “tax pol­icy change di­rectly caus­ing a net tax rev­enue gain.” We think TA­BOR is bad pub­lic pol­icy in so many ways; how­ever, the courts are bound by TA­BOR. Like it or not, Eid did the right but tough thing with her dis­sent.

We are ex­cited a jus­tice with Eid’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties is up for a pro­mo­tion and hope her nom­i­na­tion pre­vails in the U.S. Se­nate. The mem­bers of The Den­ver Post’s edi­to­rial board are William Dean Sin­gle­ton, chair­man; Mac Tully, CEO and pub­lisher; Chuck Plun­kett, ed­i­tor of the edi­to­rial pages; Megan Schrader, edi­to­rial writer; and Co­hen Peart, opin­ion ed­i­tor.

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