First woman Colorado Supreme Court Justice to give CSU-Pueblo commencement address
The first woman to serve on the Colorado Supreme Court and the first attorney to achieve recognition for gay rights from the United States Supreme Court will share her insights with Colorado State University-Pueblo graduates in May. Jean Dubofsky will present the Commencement Address during the spring ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 5 at the Colorado State Fair Events Center.
“I’m so pleased Jean Dubofsky accepted our invitation to speak to our graduates as she exemplifies the type of civic engagement we hope to instill in our students. She is an individual who has truly made a difference to the State of Colorado and the nation due to her commitment, perseverance, and dedicated service,” said CSU-Pueblo President Dr. Lesley DiMare.
Dubofsky is an attorney who has represented litigants in state and federal courts -- primarily appellate courts -- in constitutional, tort, workers’ compensation, commercial, criminal, civil rights and family law cases. Dubofsky served as a justice on the Colorado Supreme Court from 1979 until 1987, the first woman appointed to the court. She was lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the successful constitutional challenge to Amendment 2 to the Colorado Constitution; the 1996 case, Romer v. Evans, is the first time that the United States Supreme Court recognized gay rights.
Earlier in her career as director of law reform for Colorado Rural Legal Services, Dubofsky won a case in the Tenth Circuit that enforced the availability of free or low-cost hospital services for low-income people. She then moved to the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Denver, where she developed a legislative program that ultimately resulted in 34 new laws that benefited the poor. Her work also included drafting a reapportionment amendment that became part of the Colorado constitution; getting banks to issue credit cards to women in their own names; convincing courts to allow girls to play organized baseball in Denver parks; and successfully challenging the constitutionality of the workers’ compensation laws that reduced benefits
Awards she has received include the ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, the ACLU Carle Whitehead Memorial Award for “exceptional commitment and dedication to civil liberties and the state of Colorado,” and the Boulder Daily Camera Lifetime Achievement Pacesetters Award.
A 2008 inductee to the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, she serves on the boards of Bell Policy Center, the Colorado Center for Law and Policy, Rocky Mountain Wild, and Boulder Community Hospital. Dubofsky is a 1967 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1964 graduate of Stanford University. She is married to Frank Dubofsky, and they have two sons; one lives in the Bay Area and the other lives in Boulder with his wife and son. Currently, she is learning how to be retired and how to be a grandmother.
On May 5, guests at the commencement ceremony may arrive after 8 a.m. in order to secure seating, which is on a first-come, first-served basis. Following the commencement ceremony, the CSU-Pueblo Alumni Association will sponsor a reception for graduates and their guests.