New book details life of Jean Dubofsky, Colorado's first female state Supreme Court justice

Posted at 5:20 PM, Feb 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-05 19:20:14-05

DENVER -- Two years before Sandra Day O'Connor made headlines as the first woman to sit on the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court, Jean Dubofsky was named to Colorado's highest court.

In the book Appealing for Justice, author Sue Casey details Dubofsky's life fighting for civil rights.

"I met this woman who, as I found out more about her, had her own share of discrimination against her and yet she had a calmness and a dignity and she just kept going," Casey told Anne Trujillo on Politics Unplugged.

Dubofsky started making a name for herself in the 1960s.

"She started with Walter Mondale doing strategy with he [sic] and some of the giants of the senate to get the 1968 civil rights act passed," Casey said. "Then, her first job as a young lawyer... she went to Florida and on behalf of migrant workers and as a young justice advocate she brought the first lawsuit against slavery since the Civil War. As she tells the story, 'I didn’t know what else to do so I just brought a lawsuit.'"

When Dubofsky moved to Colorado, she offered legal aid to women and the poor. Eventually, after stepping down from the Colorado Supreme Court and going back into private practice, the former justice would lead the legal fight against Colorado's vote-approved Amendment 2 which banned local and state laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down Amendment 2 in 1996.

"Her's is a very rich story," Casey added. "She truly is a Civil Rights leader that a lot of Coloradans don’t know had great impact here in our state and across the country."


Politics  Unplugged  airs Sundays at 4 p.m. on Denver7. 


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