Christine M. Arguello

DENVER – President Joe Biden will again be shaping the federal courts in Colorado due to a vacancy being created by a judge who attended school in Buena Vista.

The vacancy is due to the decision of Judge Christine Arguello to give up her full-time spot in favor of working part-time, starting July 15.

Arguello, 66, has been a judge of the U.S. District Court for Colorado in Denver since 2008, and she was the court’s first Hispanic judge.

Then known as Christy Martinez, she attended elementary and high school in Buena Vista before graduating from Harvard Law School in 1980.

The judge is not giving interviews, her assistant said last week, so the reason for moving to part-time work is not known.

In a previous interview, she credited her Buena Vista public school education for her success. “My teachers were so incredible. They lit the fire of my ambition.”

Her family moved to Buena Vista in 1964, where she attended elementary school and high school. Her father operated Phil’s Barber Shop on East Main Street.

One of Arguello’s greatest joys has been to encourage students, often including those from poor families, to aim high. In a previous interview, she said, “I tell them that if Christy Martinez could do it, they can too.”

Arguello’s career included teaching law at the University of Kansas, practicing law in Denver at large law firms and serving as a high-ranking attorney of the University of Colorado.

Presidents nominate their choices to fill spots on federal courts. The nominees require Senate confirmation.

Biden already has picked two others to fill previous seats on the court, which is authorized by Congress to have eight full-time judges.

Earlier this year, the president nominated Denver attorney Regina Rodriguez to fill a position created when Judge Marcia Krieger moved from full-time to part-time.

Rodriguez joined the bench in July.

More recently, Biden nominated Charlotte Sweeney, a Denver attorney, to fill a vacancy later this year when Judge R. Brooke Jackson switches to part-time. The Senate has not yet acted on Sweeney’s nomination.

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