While Sen. Bennet may have a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation on this hands, Republican Sen. Cory Gardner was all smiles in his introduction of Judge Gorsuch during Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination hearing. His introduction wasn’t a laundry list of conservative ideals espoused by Gorsuch, but focused squarely on Gorsuch’s bipartisan appeal and heavily referenced the many Democrats who have backed Gorsuch’s confirmation.
Gardner’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein, I would like to begin by thanking you for your leadership and all the work you do on this committee.
“Today, it’s with great pleasure that I introduce along with my colleague and fellow Centennial state senator Michael Bennet, and share my strong support for, our outstanding Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.
“If you’ve ever had the privilege of visiting Confluence Park in Denver, you’ll notice a plaque bearing a poem by Colorado Poet Laureate Thomas Hornsby Ferril. It’s a poem known as Two Rivers, describing the settlement of the West: ‘I wasn’t here, yet I remember them, That first night long ago, those wagon people Who pushed aside enough of the cottonwoods To build our city where the blueness rested.’
“Where the optimistic blueness of our Colorado skies rests against the mountains and the plains, we are reminded about how incredibly diverse our great nation is—its people and its geography. Judge Gorsuch’s nomination helps recognize that indeed there are highly qualified jurists west of the Mississippi River.
“Judge Gorsuch is a fourth-generation Coloradan, skier, fly fisher, serving on a court that represents 20 percent of our nation’s land mass.
“Once confirmed, Mr. Gorsuch will join Justice Byron White and be only the second Coloradan to have served on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Should he be confirmed, Judge Gorsuch will make history as he represents the first Generation X justice of the United States Supreme Court, the emerging generation of American leadership.
“Judge Gorsuch was confirmed to the 10th Circuit unanimously by voice vote in 2006.
“Eleven years ago, Senator Graham presided over an empty committee dais as Neil Gorsuch faced confirmation. What a difference a court makes!
“But when you look at his record, his writing, his statements, it’s easy to see why Judge Gorsuch has such overwhelming appeal.
“Judge Gorsuch is not an ideologue. He’s a mainstream jurist who follows the law as written and doesn’t try to supplant it with his own personal policy preferences.
“As he said, ‘Personal politics or policy preferences have no useful role in judging; regular and healthy doses of self-skepticism and humility about one’s own abilities and conclusions always do.’
“Judge Gorsuch is not an activist judge, but rather a faithful adherent to and ardent defender of our Constitution.
“Judge Gorsuch recognizes the judiciary is not the place for social or constitutional experimentation, and that efforts to engage in such experimentation delegitimize the Court.
“As he said, ‘This overweening addiction to the courtroom as the place to debate social policy is bad for the country and bad for the judiciary . . . . As a society, we lose the benefit of the give-and-take of the political process and the flexibility of social experimentation that only the elected branches can provide.’
“Judge Gorsuch has a deep appreciation and respect for the constitutional principle of federalism and the separation of powers prescribed by our Founding Fathers.
“As he stated, ‘A firm and independent judiciary is critical to a well-functioning democracy.’
“Judge Gorsuch understands the advantage of democratic institutions and the special authority and legitimacy that come from the consent of the governed.
“As he said, ‘Judges must allow the elected branches of government to flourish and citizens, through their elected representatives, to make laws appropriate to the facts and circumstances of the day.’
“Judge Gorsuch appreciates the rule of law and respects the considered judgment of those who came before him.
“As he said, ‘A good judge will seek to honor precedent and strive to avoid its disparagement or displacement.’
“It’s this appropriate temperament, this fidelity to the Constitution, this remarkable humility that has made Judge Gorsuch a consensus pick among Colorado’s diverse legal and legislative communities.
“Former Colorado Senator, Democrat Ken Salazar, in praising Judge Gorsuch’s temperament, said during his circuit court confirmation, ‘[A] judicial nominee should have a demonstrated dedication to fairness, impartiality, precedent, and the avoidance of judicial activism—from both the left and the right. I believe that Mr. Gorsuch meets this very high test . . . .’
“Jim Lyons, a prominent lawyer and former advisor to President Bill Clinton, said, ‘Judge Gorsuch’s intellect, energy and deep regard for the Constitution are well known to those of us who have worked with him and have seen first-hand his commitment to basic principles. Above all, this independence, fairness and impartiality are the hallmarks of his career and his well-earned reputation.’
“Colorado’s former Democratic Governor Bill Ritter and former Republican Attorney General John Suthers jointly said: ‘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.’
“According to the Denver Post, Marcy Glenn, a Denver attorney and Democrat, recalls two cases before Gorsuch in which she represented underdogs. ‘He issued a decision that most certainly focused on the little guy,’ Glenn said.
“Judge Gorsuch has a consistent record of applying the law fairly and his reputation among his peers and lawmakers is evidence of it.
“For all these reasons cited today, I’m certain Judge Gorsuch will make Colorado proud, and that his opinions will have a positive impact on this country for generations to come.
I look forward to Judge Gorsuch receiving a fair hearing and, after that, to working with my distinguished colleagues on both sides of the aisle to expeditiously confirm his nomination.
“Thomas Hornsby Ferril wrote another poem—this one memorialized in a mural on the walls of the Colorado Capitol rotunda. It ends with these words: ‘Beyond the sundown is tomorrow’s wisdom. Today is going to be long, long ago.’
“The wisdom of Neil Gorsuch, guardian of the Constitution, will serve our nation well for generations to come.”