Published: Dec. 14, 2017 By

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper Thursday named University of Colorado Law School Professor Melissa Hart to the Colorado Supreme Court.

Professor Melissa Hart

Professor Melissa Hart

The nominating commission named Hart as one of three finalists on Nov. 29, 2017. Also named as finalists were Marcy Glenn of Denver and the Hon. Pattie P. Swift of Alamosa.

Hickenlooper is filling a vacancy created by the resignation of the Hon. Allison H. Eid on Nov. 3. Eid, a former Colorado Law professor and adjunct professor, is replacing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Hart was previously named as a finalist for the Colorado Supreme Court in 2015. "I'm very honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to serve Colorado in this capacity," Hart said. "I will be devoted to the rule of law and to treating all parties fairly, in every case. I will do my best to make sure our court system is efficient and fair, and that the work it does is clear and transparent."

Hart devotes her teaching and scholarship to employment discrimination, access to justice, and constitutional law. She has been teaching at the University of Colorado Law School since 2000 and has served as director of the Byron R. White Center for the Study of American Constitutional Law since 2010.

“Melissa Hart is part of a growing legacy at CU Boulder of state and federal supreme court appointments,” said Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano. “We are proud of Professor Hart, and we are pleased she will continue to share her expertise on constitutional law issues with our students.”

Hart will continue to teach at Colorado Law.

A 1995 graduate of Harvard Law School, Hart clerked for Judge Guido Calabresi of the Second Circuit and for Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court. Hart practiced law for several years in Washington, D.C., including as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. 

“Melissa Hart will serve the people of Colorado as she has served the students of Colorado Law: fairly, capably and with deep compassion,” said Colorado Law Dean S. James Anaya.

“Professor Hart’s legal acumen, coupled with her commitment to public service, make her an ideal selection to the Colorado Supreme Court,” Anaya said.

Hart also runs the Colorado Law chapter of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, a national program that sends law school students into high schools to teach constitutional law. She remains active in the legal community, serving on the Colorado Access to Justice Commission and the Colorado Supreme Court's Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee.

She has authored several amicus briefs in employment discrimination cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and in other matters before several courts of appeals. Hart is a past president of the American Association of Law Schools sections on Civil Rights and Employment Discrimination. She is on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal and is the co-chair of the Labor Law Group.