colorado law
Amid Charges By Former Law Student On Gender Equality, Former Clerks Defend Gorsuch
A student who took an ethics course under Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch at the University of Colorado Law School said he expressed controversial views on questions of gender discrimination.

A former law student of Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, alleges that in a course she took from Gorsuch at the University of Colorado Law School last year, the judge told his class that employers, specifically law firms, should ask women seeking jobs about their plans for having children and implied that women manipulate companies starting in the interview stage to extract maternity benefits.

Colorado Cops Switch Message To Safe Marijuana Use

Breaking from decades of “Just Say No”-type messaging about marijuana use, Colorado law enforcement officials are starting a new campaign designed to promote safe marijuana use.The revised campaign starts this weekend, when tens of thousands are expected at public rallies and concerts in observation of the 4/20 marijuana holiday. A few things to know about the new effort, along with some backstory:


The Colorado Department of Transportation is taking its campaign to the demographic most likely to use pot and then drive, according to surveys. That’s men aged 21 to 34.The agency will be at cannabis festivals, concerts and celebrations this weekend. But instead of handing out warnings, they’re handing out snacks branded with reminders to munch, not drive, after smoking pot.The state Department of Transportation also installed free arcade games at dispensaries loaded with messages not to drive after smoking.


It’s far from certain whether legalizing marijuana leads to more stoned drivers on the road. The data is so limited that both opponents and supporters of legalization are forced to make generalizations.Colorado didn’t track marijuana-related impaired driving arrests before the drug was made legal in 2012.

Twelve percent of DUIs issued statewide last year were for marijuana impairment, not alcohol or other drugs, according to the Colorado State Patrol. And of the 440 automobile fatalities in Colorado, 54 drivers tested positive for marijuana. (A positive result meant the driver had used marijuana recently, but not necessarily that they were driving while impaired. Pot can be detected by drug tests for weeks, whereas water-soluble alcohol dissipates in the blood within hours.)

Nationally, more drivers appear to be using marijuana and other drugs. In the nationwide 2013-14 Roadside Survey for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 8.6 percent of weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC. That was a 48 percent increase from 2007. State-by-state data was not available.


Colorado safety campaigns launched last year to coincide with the beginning of recreational marijuana sales offended some marijuana users as condescending scare tactics. Especially irritating to them was a public-health campaign aimed at minors. Using the tag line “Don’t Be a Lab Rat,” the campaign consisted of giant cages stationed outside schools and libraries. At least one school district refused to allow the installation, joining critics who said the campaign was reminiscent of Drug War-era “Just Say No” messages.

Colorado authorities have since scrapped the “lab rat” campaign and started a series of education ads thought to be the first pot-related government messages not to discourage using the drug. Instead, those ads tell marijuana users not to use the drug in public or take it out of state.

Trump's Supreme Court pick has testy exchange with top Democratic senator over his work as a professor

(Neil Gorsuch.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Judge Neil Gorsuch and Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, got into a bit of a testy exchange during the Supreme Court nominee’s Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday.

The exchange centered on a letter from a former law student of Gorsuch’s that was posted Sunday. The student, Jennifer Sisk, wrote that the judge told a class at the University of Colorado Law School last year law firms should ask women about their family planning during job interviews. Additionally, Sisk wrote that Gorsuch implied women seek to gain maternity benefits by manipulating employers in interviews.

But Sisk, formerly a Democratic staffer, faced backlash from fellow students after the letter went public, as another student came to Gorsuch’s defense and disputed the characterization. Women who worked for Gorsuch as clerks also came out to defend the 10th Circuit Court judge from Sisk’s claim, NPR reported.

The exchange between Durbin and Gorsuch began when the Illinois senator asked if Gorsuch personally believed there are situations where “the costs to an employer of maternity leave can justify an employer asking only female applicants and not male applicants about family plans.”

“Senator, those are not my words and I would never had said them,” Gorsuch answered.

“I didn’t say that,” Durbin replied. “I asked you if you agreed with the statement.”

“And I’m telling you I don’t,” Gorsuch fired back.

Durbin then brought up the letter, which was sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee late last week. Durbin said the complaint was originally made to the University of Colorado Law School in April, long before Gorsuch was nominated by President Donald Trump.

“I want to get to the bottom of it,” Durbin said, later asking, “Did you ask your students in class that day to raise their hands if they knew a women who had taken maternity benefits from a company, then left the company after having the baby?”

“No, senator, and I’d be delighted to actually clear this up,” Gorsuch answered. “Because the first I heard of this was the night before my confirmation hearing.”

Gorsuch said that the incident likely stemmed from discussion of one chapter of a textbook he uses while teaching legal ethics. The chapter “confronts lawyers with some harsh realities that they’re about to face when they enter the practice of law.”

He said, among the topics discussed, which include increased rates of suicide, alcoholism, divorce, and depression being at higher rates in the legal professions, they discussed the subject of maternity benefits coming up in the context of job interviews.

“There is one problem in the book … which asks the question and it’s directed at young women, because sadly this is a reality they sometimes face,” Gorsuch said. “The problem is this: Suppose an older partner working at the firm you’re interviewing at asks you if you intend to become pregnant soon. What are your choices as a young person? You can say yes, tell the truth, a hypothetical … and not get the job. And not be able to pay your debts. You can lie, maybe get the job, say no, that’s a choice too. That’s a hard choice. Or you can push back in some way shape or form.”

“And we talk about the pros and the cons in a Socratic dialogue that they can think through for themselves how they might answer that very difficult question,” he continued.

Gorsuch said he asked his students to raise their hands if they were asked “an inappropriate question” about family planning in a job setting.

“And I am shocked, every year, senator, how many young women raise their hand,” he said. “It’s disturbing to me.”

“I’m shocked it still happens every year, that I get women, not men, raising their hand to that question,” he added.

NOW WATCH: Gorsuch on if Trump had asked him to overturn Roe v. Wade: ‘I would have walked out the door’

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These guys are the ‘Roy Moores’ of marijuana, only they’re trying to turn back the clock in a neighboring state instead of their own,” Tvert said in a statement. “We cannot fathom why these guys would prefer marijuana cultivation and sales go back to being completely uncontrolled in Colorado. If they want to maintain a system of marijuana chaos in their states, that’s their choice. But they shouldn’t be trying to drag Colorado down with them.
Colorado’s Effort Against Teenage Pregnancies Is a Startling Success
A program to offer long-acting birth control, like free IUDs and implants, has helped reduce teenage pregnancies by 40 percent and abortions by 42 percent.
By Sabrina Tavernise

Over the past six years, Colorado has conducted one of the largest ever real-life experiments with long-acting birth control. If teenagers and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants that prevent pregnancy for years, state officials asked, would those women choose them? They did in a big way, and the results were startling. The birthrate for teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. There was a similar decline in births for another group particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school.