Bump and update: Matt Arnold (Denver Examiner) has been looking into Mr. Hood’s political connections. Of course, it is not unusual for a political appointee to have been active in their party’s efforts. Here’s his report. Here’s an excerpt:
Hood also has close ties to Democrat Party attorney (and frequent Colorado Supreme Court litigator) Mark Grueskin, dating from their time as colleagues in the politically connected (and politically active) Isaacson Rosenbaum P.C. law firm – associations that may have been related to his removal from the 2011 Congressional redistricting lawsuits, before the case was reassigned to Denver District Court Chief Judge Robert Hyatt…
Given Hood’s close associations with Democrat party attorney and frequent Colorado Supreme Court litigant Mark Grueskin, this pick could lead to a number of recusals in some high-profile, politically-charged cases that might come before the Colorado Supreme Court.
From Law Week Colorado:
Before his appointment to the Denver bench in 2007, Hood worked at Isaacson Rosenbaum, the firm that until recently employed Democratic Party lawyer Mark Grueskin.
Asked about a possible conflict between himself and the judge, Grueskin said, “Even before you get to the issue that he and I were formerly colleagues, he may have a docket that’s full.”
Here’s the release from Governor Hickenlooper’s office:
Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today the appointment of Judge William Hood III to the Colorado Supreme Court. Hood will replace Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael L.Bender, who is retiring Jan. 7, 2014, after serving on the Supreme Court since 1997 and as chief since 2010.
“William Hood has consistently demonstrated an ability to fairly apply the law while effectively administering justice,” Hickenlooper said. “He has broad experience as a prosecutor, criminal defense attorney and civil litigator. Hood’s reputation for collaboration will make him an effective member of the Colorado Supreme Court.”
Hood, 50, is the 103rd person in the state’s history to be appointed to the Colorado Supreme Court.
Hood is currently a District Court Judge in the 2nd Judicial District in the City and County of Denver, a position he has held since 2007. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.
Prior to becoming a judge, Hood was in private practice at Isaacson Rosenbaum P.C. He previously worked for the Office of the District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District serving Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties, where he served different times as the Chief Appellate Deputy, a Chief Trial Deputy and Violent Crimes Unit Deputy. Hood also practiced as an associate at McKenna & Cuneo and Holme Roberts & Owen in commercial litigation.
Hood earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law.
Hood’s nomination was supported by the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, the Colorado GLBT Bar Association, the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, the Sam Cary Bar Association, the Colorado Civil Justice League and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, among others.
The next Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice, which was decided by the court, will be Justice Nancy E. Rice. Hood will serve a provisional term of two years. If retained by voters, he will then serve a 10-year term.