April 30, 2017

Archives for February 1, 2017

Judge Neil Gorsuch of 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Nominated to U.S. Supreme Court

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, the president nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court occasioned by Justice Scalia’s death.

Judge Gorsuch was appointed to the 10th Circuit in 2006 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. Prior to his appointment to the 10th Circuit, Judge Gorsuch was the principal deputy to the associate attorney general and acting associate attorney general at theU.S. Department of Justice from 2005-2006, an attorney in private practice from 1995-2005, a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy from 1994-1995, and a law clerk to Hon. David B. Sentelle of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals from 1991-1992. Judge Gorsuch received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1991 and his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in 1988. He also has a doctorate degree in philosophy, which he received from Oxford University in 1994.

Judge Gorsuch has been compared to the late Justice Scalia, in part because of his writing style. Judge Gorsuch tends to stray from the typical judicial opinion format of summary – background – applicable law – analysis – conclusion; his opinions frequently include narrative-style stories of the parties and are peppered with more colloquial language. Eric Citron wrote a profile of Judge Gorsuch for SCOTUSblog, in which he described the judge’s writing style as “exceptionally clear and routinely entertaining; he is an unusual pleasure to read.”

Congratulations to Judge Gorsuch on his nomination.

SB 17-017: Allowing Use of Medical Marijuana for Stress Disorders

On January 11, 2017, Sen. Irene Aguilar and Rep. Jonathan Singer introduced SB 17-017, “Concerning Adding Stress Disorders to the List of Debilitating Medical Conditions for the Purposes of the Use of Medical Marijuana.”

Committee on Cost-benefit Analysis of Legalized Marijuana in Colorado.

The bill adds acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of debilitating medical conditions for the purposes of the use of medical marijuana.

The bill was introduced in the Senate and assigned to the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee. It is scheduled for hearing on January 30, 2017, at 1:30 p.m.

HB 17-1118: Exempting Colorado from Daylight Savings Time

On January 20, 2017, Rep. Phil Covarrubias introduced HB 17-1118, “Concerning an Exemption from Daylight Savings Time.”

Currently, ‘United States Mountain Standard Time’ (MST) is the standard time within Colorado, except during the period of daylight saving time (i.e., the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November) when time is advanced one hour. The bill exempts the state from observing daylight saving time, making MST the standard time year-round.

The bill was introduced in the House and assigned to the Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Committee. It is scheduled for hearing in committee on February 6 at 1:30 p.m.

HB 17-1122: Modifying Procedures to Change Gender Designation on Birth Certificate

On January 24, 2017, Rep. Daneya Esgar and Sen. Dominick Moreno introduced HB 17-1122, “Concerning the Issuance of a New Birth Certificate with a Gender Designation that Differs from the Gender Designated on the Person’s Original Birth Certificate.”

Under current law, a person born in Colorado who seeks a new birth certificate from the registrar of vital statistics (state registrar) to reflect a change in gender designation must obtain a court order indicating that the sex of the person has been changed by surgical procedure and ordering that the gender designation on the birth certificate be amended, and the person must obtain a court order with a legal name change. The bill repeals that provision and creates new requirements for the issuance of birth certificates in cases of changes to gender designation.

Under the bill, known as the ‘2017 Birth Certificate Modernization Act’, the state registrar shall issue a new birth certificate with a different gender designation to a person who was born in this state when the state registrar receives:

  • A written request from the person or the person’s legal representative requesting a new birth certificate with a gender designation that differs from the gender designated on the person’s original birth certificate; and
  • A statement from a medical or mental health care provider licensed in good standing stating that the person has undergone treatment appropriate for that person for the purpose of gender transition or stating that the person has an intersex condition, and that in the provider’s professional opinion the person’s gender designation should be changed accordingly.

The bill requires that the state registrar issue a new birth certificate rather than an amended birth certificate. The bill allows a person who has previously obtained an amended birth certificate under previous versions of the law to apply to receive a new birth certificate.

A person is not required to obtain a court order for a legal name change in order to obtain a new birth certificate with a change in gender designation. The bill creates a process for a person to update the person’s name on a birth certificate at other times than the issuance of the new birth certificate.

The state registrar is prohibited from requesting additional medical information but is authorized to contact the medical or mental health provider to verify the provider’s statement. The courts in this state are given jurisdiction to issue a decree to amend a birth certificate to reflect a change in gender designation for certain persons if the law in another state or foreign jurisdiction requires a court decree in order to amend a birth certificate to reflect a change in gender designation.

The bill was introduced in the House and assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 1/31/2017

On Tuesday, January 31, 2017, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and four unpublished opinions.

Brown v. Allbaugh

United States v. Moreno

Wolfe v. Bryant

United States v. Jones

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, some published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.