Colorado Supreme Court

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled unanimously against the city of Longmont's hydraulic fracturing ban and the moratorium in Fort Collins Monday. The state's highest court said that Longmont's ban conflicts with state law and is invalid and unenforceable. The court ruled that state law also preempts the moratorium in Fort Collins.

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015

Dec 16, 2015

  • Olathe Main Street improvement project wraps up
  • Telluride Foundation, Fort Lewis College receive grant for SW innovation corridor
  • Hickenlooper lobbies farmers to support state water plan
  • Longmont, Fort Collins fracking cases get their say in state’s highest court

The Colorado Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether local cities in Colorado can either ban hydraulic fracturing or declare a moratorium. The chamber was filled with a who’s who in the energy world, from policy experts and state and city officials, to top attorneys and environmental activists, highlighting the importance of the cases.

“We’re very, very, serious about not wanting fracking anywhere near us,” said Kaye Fissinger with Our Longmont. She helped spearhead the ballot campaign which Longmont voters passed in 2012. “It was a landslide victory 60 to 40 percent. The people spoke. And the people should be heard.”

The seven justices heard an hour of arguments on the Longmont case, along with an hour of arguments on the five-year fracking moratorium passed by the city of Fort Collins.

KVNF Regional Newscast: Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015

Dec 10, 2015

  • Colorado Supreme Court hears fracking cases
  • Hilltop receives $60K for domestic violence, senior daycare programs
  • Ski season brings big economic gains to Colorado
  • The four steps of climate change denial

  • State Supreme Court to hear Mesa County School Board eligibility case
  • Christmas tree permits for GMUG National Forest go on sale
  • Hickenlooper announces new state tourism director
  • Stories of the River: Solutions to the Crisis

KVNF Regional Newscast: Monday, Aug. 31, 2015

Aug 31, 2015

  • The chief of police for the City of Delta was put on administrative leave
  • Ouray County courthouse gets needed upgrades to security
  • Possibly record breaking El Nino will bring fall rains
  • A talk with outgoing supreme court justice about the importance of water
Robert Gabriel

Formerly serving on the Colorado Court of Appeals, Richard Gabriel will soon be sworn in as Colorado's next State Supreme Court Justice. Justice Gabriel will assume his new role on Sept. 1, which follows the retirement of Justice Gregory Hobbs. Ahead of his appointment, Gabriel sat down for a discussion about his view of politics in the judicial process, why he became a lawyer, and some of his significant cases. 

KVNF Regional Newscast: Friday, Aug. 28, 2015

Aug 28, 2015

  • Feds pledge $211M to protect sage grouse
  • Thousands without irrigation water in Mesa County due to Issues with 38 Road repairs
  • Delta County hopes to see Rogers Mesa agricultural site comeback to life
  • Interview with incoming State Supreme Court Justice Robert Gabriel

KVNF Regional Newscast: Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jun 30, 2015


  • State Supreme Court ruling could attract better doctors to Western Slope
  • Colorado Needle Exchanges Grow To Meet Demand
  • School Vouchers for religious schools ruled unconstitutional
  • Parents arrested in Minnesota after infants death in Parachute

Editor's Note: A story in this broadcast reported at least 18 states have laws that permit needle exchanges. That is incorrect. At least 17 states and the District of Colombia have laws that permit needle exchanges.

KVNF Regional Newscast: Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jun 24, 2015


  • New Colorado Supreme Court Justice Appointed
  • Delta Continues Search For New City Manager 
  • Bicycle Tour of Colorado Stops In Hotchkiss
  • Highway 133 Closes For Blasting North Of Paonia
  • BLM Wants Comments On Grand Junction Airport Land Transfer Plan
  • iSeeChange: Mushroom Hunting 

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that companies can legally fire employees for using medical marijuana, even off duty.

The decision is based on the case of Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who takes medical marijuana to control muscle spasms in his legs. Dish Network fired him from his job as a customer service representative in 2010 after he failed a random drug test. Coats then sued for unlawful termination.

Now that marijuana use is legal in Colorado, can employees be fired for lighting up a joint in their free time?

That was the question before the Colorado Supreme Court this term and on Monday it came to a conclusion: Yes, you can get fired.

The case was brought by Brandon Coats, who sued Dish Network after it fired him for using his "state-licensed ... medical marijuana at home during nonworking hours."

A car accident crushed Brandon Coats' upper spine when he was 16, leaving him unable to walk. His muscles still spasm, disrupting sleep and causing pain.

"If I'm out in public it's embarrassing," Coats says. "It's always uncomfortable. If I smoke marijuana, it almost completely alleviates it" — more, he says, than other prescriptions.

Coats smokes at night, and says he was never high when answering customer calls at Dish Network. "I was really good at my job," he says.

For the past month, county clerks in Colorado have been challenging a ban on same-sex marriage by issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

The Colorado Supreme Court is expected to rule on their actions any day now.

But few know that this is history repeating itself.

Back in 1975, when Clela Rorex was the newly elected county clerk in Boulder, she began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


  • William Hood Selected as next Colorado Supreme Court Justice
  • Western Colorado School Districts Continue to Debate Amendment 66
  • DMEA Board Members Take Complaints on Proposed Rate Increase
  • Resort Towns Reporting Growth in Summer Revenues
  • Pot Tourism Companies Plan to Cash In on Legalization
  • Marijuana Refugees Come To Colorado For Medical Relief

Governor John Hickenlooper announced the appointment of William Hood to the bench Friday afternoon. Hood is filling the place of retiring chief justice John Bender.

  • Colorado Supreme Court Says Language in Recall Rules Conflicts with US Constitution
  • After Audit, Colorado Energy Office Moves to Fix Financial Problems
  • Faced with Water Shortages, Farmers Doing More With Less
  • Governor Hickenlooper Says State is Facing a “Water Crisis”
  • Move to Raise Taxes for Public School Funding Put On Hold
  • Mesa County to Offer Tax Incentives to Keep Businesses in the State