‹‹ Colorado Matters

Diversifying Colorado’s judiciary and the importance of inclusion

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21min 07sec
Courtesy Colorado Women’s Bar Association
Judge Zita Weinshienk (right) with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and other female judges from Colorado.

Many members of the state’s legal community have been very vocal about their desire to see more diversity on the bench. They're also taking the time to celebrate what has been described as historic levels of diversity among those now serving, including several women, people of color, and LGBTQ people.

This month, Amanda Hopkins was named chief judge overseeing the 12th Judicial District which includes Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache counties.

And next month, Arapahoe County Court Judge LaQunya Baker, a Black woman appointed by the governor in July of 2022, will transition into a new role as a District Court judge in the 18th Judicial District. That includes Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln Counties.

In that same judicial district, Victoria Klingensmith, a Korean American woman who grew up in metro Denver, is set to begin as a judge on September 1.

Danielle Rash, is a senior assistant City Attorney in the Denver City Attorney's Office and a member of the Colorado Association of Black Women Attorneys. We spoke in March when nineteen Black female judges were celebrated. Former Denver County Court judge Gary Jackson also spoke at the event and provides context about diversity on the bench and what still need to be done. And Denver District Attorney Beth McCann reflects on the legacy of a judicial trailblazer in Colorado, judge Zita Weinshienk, who passed away in October at the age of 89.