Grantham Cheers the Selection of Coats as Chief Justice

DENVER -- On June 30, Colorado Supreme Court Associate Justice Nathan B. Coats assumed the post of Chief Justice after a vote of his fellow Associate Justice following the retirement of Chief Justice Nancy Rice, who has served as Chief Justice for 20 years.

Senate President Kevin J. Grantham issued the following statement:

“ Justice Coats has served the State of Colorado faithfully for decades, and I believe he will continue to serve us well is his new role. I wish him the best as Colorado’s 46th Chief Justice. I’d also like to extend my thanks and well wishes to Chief Justice Nancy Rice for her service.”

Some facts about Chief Justice Nathan B. Coats:

  • Chief Justice Coats had served on the state’s highest court since his appointment in 2000 by Republican Governor Bill Owens.
  • Coats joined the state Supreme Court after serving 14 years as chief appellate deputy district attorney for the Second Judicial District in Denver. He also served as a member of the Appellate Section of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.
  • The other six current Associate Justices were all appointed by Democrat Governors Bill Ritter and John Hickenlooper.
  • Chief Justice Coats is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder and earned his J.D. degree in 1977 from the UC School of Law.
  • Associate Justice Coats’ election to the Chief Justice post followed the appointment of Carlos A. Samour, Jr. to fill the post vacated by Rice. Associate Justice Samour was sworn in and began his term on July 2.
  • The seven Colorado Supreme Court judges each serve 10-year terms subject to a retention vote at the polls, with the exception of the Chief Justice, who serves an indefinite term not subject to a retention vote.
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