Judicial Selection Project

Attorney: Joel West Williams

The Judicial Selection Project is about research and education: to educate the federal judiciary about tribal issues; to educate tribal leaders about the federal judiciary and the judicial nomination process; and to reach out to elected officials and the public at large about the need for judges in the federal courts who understand the unique legal status of Indian tribes. The research objective of the Project evaluates the records of judicial nominees on their knowledge of Indian issues. The analysis and conclusions are shared with tribal leaders and federal decision-makers to inform their decision to support or oppose a particular nomination. The Project works with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to ensure that all nominees are asked about their experience with Indian tribes and their understanding of federal Indian law during confirmation proceedings.

On June 7, 2017, President Trump nominated Justice Allison Eid to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals to fill the seat vacated by Neal Gorsuch’s elevation to the United States Supreme Court. Justice Eid graduated from 18 Stanford University in 1987 with a B.A. in American Studies. After serving as a speechwriter for Secretary of Education William Bennett, she attended the University of Chicago Law School, graduating with high honors in 1991. She then clerked for U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Edwin Smith and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. After completing her clerkships, she practiced commercial and appellate litigation at the law firm of Arnold & Porter. In 1998, she left Arnold & Porter to serve as an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School, where she taught courses on constitutional law, torts, and federalism. In 2005, she was appointed Solicitor General of Colorado. A year later, Governor Owens appointed Eid to serve as the 95th Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. In 2008, 75% of Colorado voters voted to retain Eid on the Supreme Court.

Justice Eid’s husband, Troy Eid, is the former U.S. Attorney for Colorado, and currently practices Indian law with Greenberg Traurig in Denver and formerly served on the Indian Law and Order Commission. The National Congress of American Indians and the National Native American Bar Association endorsed her nomination. Justice Eid’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee was on September 20, 2017. Her nomination was reported out of the Judiciary Committee in October, and she was confirmed by the Senate on November 2, 2017.

Read More: Develop Indian Law and educate the public about Indian rights, laws, and issues

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