Colorado Welcomes First Latina, Lesbian Supreme Court Justice

The move comes as the state considers Arizona-style immigration reforms.

By Jamilah King Dec 15, 2010

On Friday Colorado appointed its first Latina and first openly gay member to the Supreme Court. The Denver Post reported on Colorado Deputy Attorney General Monica Marquez’s path to the state’s highest court, noting that the 41-year-old Marquez was said by Gov. Bill Ritter to have "deep respect for the rule of law."

Law seems to be a family tradition in Marquez’s family. Her father, retired Judge Jose D.L. Marquez was the first Latino appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals back in 1988, and was on hand to swear in his daughter.

Rod McColloum pointed out that Marquez will likely have her work cut out for her. With so much attention being paid to what her presence on the court, she’s already had to reiterate her objectivity.

"On the bench, of course, my allegiance is to the law, not to any particular constituency," she said after being sworn in.

Colorado is one of several states currently considering an Arizona-style SB 1070 immigration bill, an effort that would likely go before the state’s Supreme Court. McCollum wrote on his blog that "if a gay rights or immigration law were to reach the court…don’t be too surprised if conservatives claim ‘bias’ and suggest Justice Marquez should recuse herself."