Berkenkotter is Colorado’s Newest Supreme Court Justice
Former Boulder judge to replace chief justice on first day of 2021

by Hank Lacey
Colorado Supreme Court building

Gov. Jared Polis announced Friday morning that he has appointed Maria Berkenkotter, a former trial judge in the 20th Judicial District, to replace Nathan Coats on the state’s highest court.

Berkenkotter, who also served as an assistant attorney general before taking the bench, is Polis’ first selection to the supreme court.

“I’m honored to be selected by Governor Polis for this important position,” Berkenkotter said. “It is essential for the foundations of our democracy, including our courts, to remain strong during these unprecedented times.”

The newest justice has experience working in alternative dispute resolution, having been affiliated with JAG, Inc. since Jan. 2018. Berkenkotter has also coached other judges and was a finalist in 2018 for the vacancy filled by Justice Carlos Samour, Jr. She was chief judge of the Boulder District Court for four years.

Berkenkotter was chosen over Tim Macdonald, a partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, and Andrea Wang, an assistant U.S. attorney. She will be sworn in on Jan. 1.