Governor appoints Supreme Court judge

DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday announced the appointment of Melissa Hart to the Colorado Supreme Court. Hart fills a vacancy created by the resignation of the Honorable Allison H. Eid who is now serving on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

12th Judicial Chief District Judge Pattie Swift of Alamosa was one of three finalists for the position. She was considered for the position along with Hart and Marcy Glenn of Denver. The three were interviewed by the Supreme Court Nominating Commission November 27-28, and the governor had 15 days to make a decision. He announced his decision to appoint Hart on Thursday.

“Melissa is a brilliant legal mind who has dedicated herself to making Colorado a better place. Her expertise and strong work ethic make her a terrific addition to the bench,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “I’m encouraged by her ideas on how to make the judicial system more effective, efficient, and less expensive.”

Hart is a professor at the University of Colorado Law School where she has worked since 2000. She has also handled several family law and adoption cases through Metro Volunteer Lawyers, and represented clients seeking Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on a pro bono project from 2013-2014. 

Hart is also the director of the Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law.

Prior to joining the University of Colorado Law School, Hart was a trial attorney at the United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, in Washington, D.C. ; an associate at Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue in Washington, D.C. ; and a law clerk for Justice John Paul Stevens and Judge Guido Calabresi,  Hart earned her B.A. from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1991 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1995. 

Hart’s term is effective immediately.