A state deputy attorney general will become the next state supreme court justice.
Monica Marquez, 41, has been chosen by Gov. Bill Ritter to replace retiring chief justice Mary Mullarkey.
“Monica is an analytical and independent thinker," Ritter said. "She has a wealth of personal and professional experiences, and a deep reverence for the role our legal system plays in the everyday lives of Coloradans, and in the inter-relationship between our courts and public policy. She respects the rule of law, is conscientious and will bring an unbiased and just perspective to the court and all the cases that it hears."
The appointment also drew praise from Republican attorney general John Suthers, Marquez' boss.
"In selecting Deputy Attorney General Marquez, the governor has made an excellent appointment to the Colorado Supreme Court,” Suthers said. “Monica is one of the brightest attorneys I have worked with in my long career in public service. Her clear, concise writing and sharp legal mind will make her an outstanding addition to the Colorado Supreme Court.”
Suthers also wrote a letter of recommendation supporting Marquez' candidacy for the high court.
Marquez is the chief of the state services section in the attorney general's office. She oversees the team of lawyers who represent nine executive branch agencies, including the governor's office.
Marquez has worked for the Department of Law since 2002. Before entering public service she was an associate at the law firm Holme, Roberts, and Owen and a law clerk for two federal judges.
She earned her law degree at Yale Law School and her undergraduate degree at Stanford University. Marquez is a graduate of Grand Junction High School.
Marquez will have to seek retention after a two-year provisional term. Her name will appear on the 2012 ballot.
“Naming a new Supreme Court justice is a tremendous responsibility and privilege,” the Governor said. “I had three exemplary choices and a difficult decision to make. While Chief Justice Mullarkey leaves behind an irreplaceable legacy, I am confident Monica Marquez will serve the people of Colorado with distinction, honor and integrity.”