Judge Gorsuch ‘Somebody Who Understands The West’

The Federal Government ‘Has An Outsized Impact On Those Who Live In The West, And … That Is Evident In The Jurisprudence You See From Judge Gorsuch’


SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO): Judge Gorsuch “does have the fact that he’s a fourth generation Coloradan, avid flyfisher, expert skier, somebody who understands the west, our water laws, somebody who understands our resources laws, somebody who understands Indian laws, and somebody who’s going to be a guardian of the Constitution and interpret the law – not try to make the law.” (“Cory Gardner Talks To 9NEWS About Neil Gorsuch Hearings,” 9News, 3/20/17)


FORMER GOV. BILL RITTER (D-CO): ‘Gorsuch Is A Worthy Successor To Colorado’s Last Supreme Court Justice, Byron White’

FORMER GOV. BILL RITTER (D-CO) & FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN SUTHERS (R-CO): “…[Judge] Gorsuch is a worthy successor to Colorado’s last Supreme Court justice, Byron White, for whom Gorsuch once clerked. Gorsuch’s temperament, personal decency and qualifications are beyond dispute…. It is time to use this confirmation process to examine and exalt the characteristics of a judge who demonstrates that he or she is scholarly, compassionate, committed to the law, and will function as part of a truly independent, apolitical judiciary. Judge Gorsuch fits that bill.” (Bill Ritter and John Suthers, Op-Ed, “Ritter And Suthers: Senate Should Confirm Neil Gorsuch’s Nomination To Supreme Court,” The Denver Post, 3/15/2017)

SEN. FLAKE: ‘I Cannot Overstate How Important It Will Be To Have A Fellow Westerner Serving On The Supreme Court’

SEN. JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ): “As an Arizonan, I cannot overstate how important it will be to have a fellow westerner serving on the Supreme Court… the sensitivities that you have when you come from the West. A lot of it has to do with, if you are in a rural area in particular, you are--as my family grew up--working on the land. Much of that land is either owned by or controlled by the Federal Government, the State government, or Tribal governments in Arizona's case. In fact, 85 percent of the State of Arizona is publicly owned. So when you live in the West and you work the land on a ranch or farm, you are dealing specifically with Federal regulators and Federal property managers. I think those who were raised in the West and have lived here understand the impact of the Federal Government's decisions. The administrative state has an outsized impact on those who live in the West, and I think that is evident in the jurisprudence you see from Judge Gorsuch.” (Sen. Flake, Congressional Record, S. 1822, 3/15/2017)

SEN. STEVE DAINES (R-MT): “[A]s a Montanan, I have to say I am thrilled to see somebody from Colorado be nominated for the Supreme Court. We say out West: Go get a good education and then get over it. And he brings that kind of humility to the bench. He understands that he is beneath the law, he is subject to the law. He is there to interpret the law, not to make the law…. During his time as a judge on the Tenth Circuit, he has built a solid reputation as a respected jurist with a very distinguished record.” (Sen. Daines, Congressional Record, S. 1823, 3/15/2017)

  • SEN. DAINES: “[W]hen you look at Neil Gorsuch's record on Indian Country issues, as a member of the Tenth Circuit Court for 10 years, he has a track record of ruling on some very complicated issues that face Indian Country. He understands sovereignty. That is very important. That is why you are seeing Tribes endorsing Judge Gorsuch.” (Sen. Daines, Congressional Record, S. 1823, 3/15/2017)

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): “I think that western heritage is important. But I think that additionally important is … his judicial temperament, being such a mainstream member of the judiciary, and this general belief inherent within him that the role of a judge is to apply the law, not to legislate from the bench.” (Sen. Barrasso, Congressional Record, S. 1822, 3/15/2017)

  • SEN. BARRASSO: “I have full confidence in Judge Gorsuch as a son of the West, as the only Justice from the Rocky Mountain West who would be on the Court. Specifically, though, I would support him no matter where he was from because of his belief that it is the role of a judge and a justice to apply the law, not to legislate from the bench, which I think goes above and beyond where someone is from, what their background may be. But I will just tell you that his background, combined with his philosophy and mainstream approach to the law, is exactly what we need now in 2017 on the U.S. Supreme Court.” (Sen. Barrasso, Congressional Record, S. 1822, 3/15/2017)


WESTERN OFFICIALS: ‘The Selection Of Judge Gorsuch Is A Home Run’

“The Garfield County [Colorado] Commission also approved a letter of support for Gorsuch, who now sits on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver…. The Garfield County Commission said it hoped that the high court could aid in improving relationships between federal agencies and local governments. ‘We believe Judge Gorsuch will bring practical, common-sense decision making founded on western ideals to Washington, D.C.,’ the commission’s letter said.” (“GJ Attorneys Urge A Vote On Gorsuch,” The [Grand Junction, CO] Daily Sentinel, 3/10/2017)

MONTANA JUDGE RUSSELL FAGG: “Judge Gorsuch believes judges should follow the law, not make it. That policy decisions are up to Congress, not Courts…. Importantly for Montanans, Gorsuch is a fellow Westerner. In the end analysis, I believe the selection of Judge Gorsuch is a home run. He will make an excellent Supreme Court justice and should be confirmed without delay.” (Judge Russell Fagg, “Gorsuch Good Choice For U.S. Supreme Court,” Montana Standard, 3/07/2017)

TRIBES:His Decisions Evidence Respect For Tribal Sovereignty’

RICHARD J. PETERSON, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska President: “I am writing on behalf of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, a federally recognized tribal government, to indicate our support for prompt confirmation by the U.S. Senate of the president’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Central Council Tlingit Haida has reviewed Judge Gorsuch’s jurisprudential record and has concluded that his decisions evidence respect for tribal sovereignty, self-government, and territorial authority.” (Richard J. Peterson, President, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Letter to Sens. Murkowski and Sullivan, 3/16/2017)



Related Issues: Supreme Court, Judicial Nominations