Nathan B. Coats
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Nathan B. Coats
Ben Coats
Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court

June 30, 2018
Nancy E. Rice
Personal details
Born (1949-01-23) January 23, 1949 (age 71)
EducationUniversity of Colorado, Boulder (BA)
University of Colorado Law School (JD)

Nathan Benjamin Coats (born January 23, 1949)[1] is the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court.[2] He was appointed to the Supreme Court on April 24, 2000 by Governor Bill Owens.[3]


Justice Coats received his Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Colorado in 1971, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado Law School in 1977.[4]

Career prior to appointment

Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was the Chief Appellate Deputy District Attorney for the Second Judicial District (Denver County) from 1986 to 2000. He also served in the Appellate Section of the Colorado Attorney General's Office in the 1970s and 1980s.

Supreme Court committees

Justice Coats has served on numerous Colorado Supreme Court and other committees.[3]

  • Colorado Supreme Court Criminal Rules Committee, Member 1983-2000, Chair 1997-2000;
  • Colorado Supreme Court Board of Law Examiners 1984-1994;
  • Colorado Supreme Court Appellate Rules Committee 1985-2000;
  • Colorado Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee, Joint Civil/Criminal Subcommittee on the Colorado Rules of Evidence, 1996-2000;
  • Colorado Supreme Court Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions Committee, 1987-2000;
  • Colorado Supreme Court Jury Reform Pilot Project Committee, 1998-2000;
  • Colorado District Attorneys Council Legislative Committee, 1990-2000;
  • Reporter for Governor's Columbine Commission, Fall 1999 - April 2000;
  • Lecturer, Denver Police Academy, 1986-1997;
  • Chief Reporter for the Erickson Commission on Officer-Involved Shootings, 1996-1997.

Retention election results

  • 2002 - Provisional 2-Year Term: Retained by 74.3% of the vote.[5]
  • 2012 - 1st 10-Year Term: Retained by 71.4% of the vote.[6]
    • Justice Coats will reach the mandatory retirement age of 72 before his term ends.[7]
    • This means he will not be on a retention ballot again.

46th Chief Justice

Justice Coats became Chief Justice on June 30, 2018.[8] Justice Coats is the 46th member of the Court to be named Chief Justice since Colorado's statehood in 1876.[8]


Justices in Colorado may only serve until the age of 72.[7] Justice Coats will reach the mandatory retirement age in the year 2021.


  1. ^ "Nathan B. Coats". NNDB. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ "Supreme Court Justices". Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Colorado Judicial Branch - Bio". Retrieved .
  4. ^ "Nathan Coats". Ballotpedia.
  5. ^ "Official Publication of the Abstract of Votes Cast for the 2002 General" (PDF). 2017-10-13. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "2012 Abstract of Votes Cast" (PDF). 2017-09-06. Retrieved .
  7. ^ a b "Colo. Const. Art. VI § 23". Justia. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Justice Nathan B. Coats named next Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice". (Press release). 12 April 2018. Retrieved .

External links

Legal offices
Preceded by
Gregory Scott
Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court
Preceded by
Nancy E. Rice
Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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