Gorsuch has the thoughtfulness and experience to be a great Supreme Court Justice
© Greg Nash

Coloradans make good farmers. They make good mountaineers. They make good businesspeople and teachers and inventors. But Coloradans also make good judges.

That’s why I’m writing today about my colleague and friend, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Call me a little biased toward my state, but I believe the values that make Judge Gorsuch a Coloradan are the values that make him a great judge and will allow him to excel on the Supreme Court.

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I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the Judge in my time as a prosecutor. I could talk about his legal brilliance and his witty prose. I could rattle off his educational pedigree—Columbia, Harvard, Oxford—or list his clerkships—Justice White, Justice Kennedy, Judge Sentelle—but these credentials don’t make a justice. Instead, I’d like to talk about his thoughtfulness and his principles.

Judge Gorsuch lives in rural America. He raises animals in the barn on his property. He hikes, and fishes, and skis. He lives in appreciation of the humility and beauty of nature, of family, of hard work. Judge Gorsuch knows the life of a hard-working American because he lives that life. And now he’ll take that experience and those values with him to the Supreme Court.

When I spent more time with Judge Gorsuch as a colleague and friend, the thoughtfulness born of this hard-working American life became apparent. He cares deeply about the law, and he cares deeply about the people it affects. His overwhelming drive is to apply the law justly and according to its original intent, for the sake of the people—his children, his friends and neighbors, the plaintiffs and defendants in his courtroom, everyone. 

We really couldn’t ask for more from the highest court in our land.

The Constitution, after all, is a document for the protection and advancement of the American people. It enables us to write laws and create opportunities for ourselves, while still restraining government and others from overreaching and harming us.

To guard this document is to guard its people. And to remain true to the laws passed by Congress is to guard their wishes.

This is where his principles come in. He’s not on the bench to advance an ideology or a policy or personal agenda. He’s on the bench to maintain the constitutional structure of government and enact the expressed will of the people, even if he disagrees personally with the policies on the books. His now famous quote speaks to this: “A judge who likes every result he reaches is very likely a bad judge.”

To thoughtfully appraise each case according to the text and original intent of the law, Judge Gorsuch doesn’t hew to one ideology or side with one philosophy or group. A review of his opinions shows that he has ruled against groups that one might expect him to support and for groups that one might expect him to oppose.

Perhaps his present commitment to judging the law and not creating it from the bench comes from his balanced judicial upbringing. After all, he clerked for the late Justice Byron White, appointed to the court by Democrat President John F. Kennedy.

My job as a Member of Congress, more than legislating or speech-giving or hearing-holding, is to protect the Constitution. This is also the chief job of a justice. Judge Gorsuch, based on my personal interactions with him and his rich judicial history, fully understands this imperative.

He is truly worthy of the seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Both are justices for the law. Both are justices for the people. One was, and one soon will be, a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

I encourage my Senate colleagues to confirm Judge Gorsuch with all haste.

The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.