MLB’s Denver Field Named after Joseph Coors, a Founder of Heritage Foundation and Mountain States Legal Foundation

DENVER, CO - APRIL 10: The statue of 'The Player' stands sentry outside the stadium as the Colorado Rockies host the Chicago Cubs during the Rockies home opener at Coors Field on April 10, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Major League Baseball’s Coors Field in Denver is named after a founder of the Heritage Foundation, Joseph Coors, the former president of Coors Brewing Company, who died in 2003 after setting up a legal foundation that challenged part of the Voting Rights Act.

Joseph Coors, a passionate supporter of former President Ronald Reagan and former presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, donated $250,000 in seed money to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington D.C., which espouses “Building an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish.”

“Without Joe Coors, the Heritage Foundation wouldn’t exist,” according to the Associated Press. Coors continued to support the foundation for many years with an annual contribution of $300,000.

Meanwhile, Reagan and Goldwater were greatly helped by Coors, who sponsored “Reagan’s political radio shows, which deployed his undoubted presentational skills to a national audience.” Upon Reagan’s successful political rise to the White House, Coors became an adviser in Reagan’s so-called “kitchen Cabinet” and was later nominated by Reagan to sit on the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Coors additionally established the Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), which was headed by James Watt to combat legal environmental constraints.

MSLF’s litigation work also encompasses the Voting Rights Act. MSLF filed an amicus brief in the U.S Supreme Court case Shelby County v. Holder challenging Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which required that certain states had to get preclearance from the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court before changing voting laws. In 2013, the Court in Shelby County struck down the decades-old formula to determining which states were subject to this onerous requirement because it was based on data from the 1970s.

Congress has not taken up the Court’ invitation to develop a modern formula, which the petitioners in Shelby County claim is because there is no longer clear data of geographically concentrated voter suppression in modern America.


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