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