Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Who is Allison Eid?

Allison Eid is President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.  She also appeared on his list of potential Supreme Court nominees.

Age: 51 (approximate)

Current Position: Associate Justice on the Colorado Supreme Court (Denver, CO)

Education:

  • B.A., Stanford University (1987), with Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa

  • J.D., University of Chicago School of Law (1991), with High Honors, Order of the Coif, Articles Editor, University of Chicago Law Review

Judicial Clerkships:

  • Judge Jerry Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

  • Associate Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court (1993-1994)

Experience:

  • 1987-1988: Special Assistant and Speechwriter to William Bennett, Secretary of Education (Washington, D.C.)

  • 1994-1998:  Associate, Arnold & Porter LLP (Denver, CO)

  • 2005-2006:  Solicitor General of the State of Colorado (Denver, CO)

  • 1998-present:  Associate Professor, University of Colorado School of Law (Denver, CO)

  • 2006-present:  Associate Justice on the Colorado Supreme Court (Denver, CO)

Notable Matters:  

  • In Stamp v. Vail Corp. 172 P.3d 437 (Colo. 2007), Justice Eid wrote separately to dissect the statute in question, and determined that the majority overreached in interpreting the state’s wrongful death statute by reading “injury” as “injury or death.”  Justice Eid wrote this was an impermissible injection of judicial will into a legislative determination evidenced by the plain text.  

  • In re. Matter of Title, Ballot Title and Submission Clause, 328 P.3d 127 (2014) Justice Eid dissented from the majority’s opinion that a proposed ballot initiative did not have a “single subject,” as state law requires.  Justice Eid argued that, however unwieldy, the proposed initiative did in fact have a single subject and mission (“The proposed initiative might be a good idea or a bad idea; we must leave that decision to the voters.”).

  • In Taxpayers for Public Education v. Douglas County School District, 356 P.3d 833 (Colo. App. 2013), Justice Eid partially concurred and partially dissented in a high-profile case about school choice.  First, Eid argued that the majority misinterpreted the plain language of Colorado’s constitution to reach the incorrect result that state funding cannot even incidentally benefit church or sectarian schools. Second, Eid wrote that the majority improperly refused to consider whether the state constitutional section at issue (the state’s version of the “Blaine Amendment”) was based on impermissible anti-Catholic bias. 

Biographical Notes:  Justice Eid is married and has two children.  

Update:  Letters of endorsement for Justice Eid

Former law clerks: lauding her “incredible work ethic and her leadership by example,” and recalling that “We also observed her belief in the importance of respect and collegiality with her colleagues, particularly during times of disagreement. Her chambers are always open, and she wants to hear different viewpoints (even ours), but she remains fiercely independent, ultimately deciding cases as she believes the law requires.”

Southern Ute Indian Tribe: ”Justice Eid’s judicial record evidences her understanding of tribal sovereignty and other matters that are acutely important to the Tribe. Because these matters are often resolved in the Supreme Court following a decision in a federal appellate circuit in the West, it is critical that the judges on those circuit courts possess a working understanding of Indian law issues.”

National Native American Bar Association: “Justice Eid has demonstrated deep understanding of federal Indian law and policy matters, as well as significant respect for tribes as governments. Such qualities and experiences are rare among nominees to the federal bench and consequently, many in Indian Country strongly support Justice Eid’s confirmation. … In sum, while we do not expect that Justice Eid will agree with tribal interests on every issue, we also believe that she is immensely well qualified and we are confident that Justice Eid is a mainstream, commonsense Westerner who will rule fairly on Indian Country matters.”

Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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