Hickenlooper: Dems Should “Slow Down” Gorsuch Nomination

Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Quotable quotes from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper today via the Denver Post’s Brian Eason, in which Hickenlooper shows a flash of contempt for President Donald Trump–and the treachery that led to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court that former President Barack Obama tried to fill over a year ago:

“If someone commits an offense against you, generally, if there’s no consequence — if you just walk away and there’s no consequence — if you have another opportunity, you can be pretty much assured that he’ll do that same thing again,” Hickenlooper said during a press conference. “I don’t think I would hold it against Democrats to say, ‘Maybe we should slow this down.’ Because there are real questions about what happened to Merrick Garland, and I think that those actions — just like elections — have consequences.”

But he stopped short of taking a position himself on the nomination, saying he was “honored” that Colorado had someone as talented as Gorsuch nominated to the nation’s highest court…

Hickenlooper also suggested that the ongoing investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia could give Democrats another reason to hold off. [Pols emphasis]

“We’re already beginning to hear people say, ‘Hey, if this is a legitimate cloud about the legitimacy of this president, should he be appointing the next Supreme Court, until we get this resolved?’” Hickenlooper said. “Somehow it was OK to wait 10 and a half months without having a candidate stand for the Supreme Court — maybe we should wait another four or five months and see what this investigation proves.”

Shorter Hick: if you let the bullies win, all you’ve done is ensure the bullying happens again. Oh and by the way, Trump’s presidency is just a headline away from full-blown constitutional crisis, so maybe you don’t have to be so, you know, deferential? In terms of Gorsuch’s nomination, this is a message that seems to be directed at one particular U.S. Senator from Colorado.

Democrats should like this tougher side of Hickenlooper, and ask for more.

BREAKING: Ex-Colorado GOP Chair Charged With Voter Fraud

Former Colorado GOP chairman Steve Curtis.

As the Denver Post’s John Frank reports, former Colorado GOP chairman Steve Curtis, now a radio host on 560 KLZ talk radio, has been charged with felony forgery and one misdemeanor count of voter fraud:

Former Colorado Republican party chairman Steve Curtis, 57, has been charged with voter fraud and forgery, prosecutors say.

Curtis, an AM radio talk show host, appeared Tuesday in Weld County District Court, where he was advised that he faces two counts in the case: forgery, a Class 5 felony, and misdemeanor voter fraud.

Weld County District Attorney’s spokesman Tyler Hill confirmed the charges, but said he couldn’t discuss details of the allegations, which were first reported by KDVR-Channel 31.

However a criminal complaint filed Feb. 1 says the forgery charge stems from “intent to defraud” a woman on the 2016 general election mail-in ballot. The complaint says Curtis lives in Aurora.

As Frank reports, Curtis was the chairman of the Colorado Republican Party through 1999–far back enough that the kids won’t remember him, but excepting TABOR mastermind Doug Bruce’s tax evasion conviction related to an electioneering nonprofit he operated, this is the highest-ranking politico we can recall to be charged with a felony election crime.

And it should go without saying, if Colorado Republicans want to be taken seriously on the issue of election fraud, they really need to stop being literally the only people who actually commit election fraud in Colorado.

Seriously, folks.

CNN reports political background of Gorsuch critic but not of his defender

(It’s a two-way street – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

CNN reported this morning that Jennifer Sisk, who complained that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch made disparaging comments about women during a lecture to his law school class, was “a registered Democrat who once worked for former Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado.”

Fair enough.

But the political background of a former Gorsuch law student who defended the SCOTUS nominee was not provided.

CNN quoted former Gorsuch law student, Catherine Holtgrewe, as saying Gorsuch never spoke “disrespectfully to or about anyone” — without identifying Holtgewe as a former Romney staffer and the volunteer coordinator of the failed 2006 gubernatorial campaign of Bob Beauprez. She works for a conservative think tank.

CNN quoted a letter, first reported by NPR, that Sisk wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee, claiming that Gorsuch told her class that “companies must ask females about their family and pregnancy plans to protect the company,” CNN reported.

Sisk writes that she was “distressed by the tenor of his comments” and made her concerns known to the law school’s administration.

Sisk, a registered Democrat who once worked for former Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, confirmed to CNN that she authored the letter.

In discussing Holtgrewe, CNN reported:

Another former student, Catherine Holtgrewe, said she “never heard Judge Gorsuch ever speak disrespectfully to or about anyone.”
“As a former student, I am a witness to the respect that he showed towards his female students and fellow professors at Colorado Law,” she said in a statement. “The supposed remarks he made in his 2016 Legal Ethics class are completely out of character, and I find very hard to believe are accurately relayed.”

Obviously, Holtgrewe’s political operative background is relevant to the story, as is Sisk’s. CNN need not have included Sisk’s political party.

I did not immediately receive a response to a tweet to Ashley Killough, a CNN political producer, whose byline appeared on the piece.

Gorsuch’s Bizarre Unforced Error on Partisan Judges

Seth Masket, political science professor at the University of Denver, calls out U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch for a fairly surprising misstatement during confirmation hearings:

Masket is correct: the states of Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia all hold partisan elections to their state supreme courts. In addition, 20 states hold partisan elections for trial court judges. Several other states have a “hybrid” system of partial partisan elections for the judiciary.

So, what’s the deal with this? We don’t think it rises to the level of perjury, being an apparently innocent misstatement. But Gorsuch is being sold as one of the nation’s greatest legal minds, and there’s just no excuse for him not knowing full well that many parts of America indeed have “Republican judges” and “Democratic judges.”

This is not the minor leagues, folks. We are talking about a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court for a 49-year-old judge. Gorsuch’s platitudes about judicial partisan independence may sound good, but they are factually not correct.

And that doesn’t sit well with us.

Colorado Christian U: Gorsuch Our Kind of Hater

Neil Gorsuch.

A fundraising email from Jeff Hunt, vice president of Colorado Christian University, extolls Judge Neil Gorsuch’s “conservative values”–and makes predictions about Gorsuch’s values on the U.S. Supreme Court that Gorsuch probably won’t want to validate during confirmation hearings:

Judge Gorsuch has proven he’s pro-life, pro-family, and pro-religious liberty, which is exactly why the radical Left is rallying against him.

His rulings are very promising from a conservative perspective, which is why it’s critical we rush to his aid immediately and ensure he’s confirmed…

As a native of Colorado and a devoted follower of Christ, we couldn’t be more excited about what Judge Gorsuch will do to help overturn Roe v. Wade, uphold traditional marriage, and protect our religious freedom. [Pols emphasis]

When our past president, Bill Armstrong, was serving in the U.S. Senate, a young Neil Gorsuch even interned for him.

The late Senator Bill Armstrong helped mentor this brilliant conservative legal mind, and now he has the chance to ascend to the nation’s highest court where he will defend our values for decades to come.

We wouldn’t say that any of this is a surprise, although traditionally Supreme Court nominees don’t give specific answers on how they might rule on specific cases. What this message does do, however, is give some perspective on the origins of Gorsuch’s political views.

And if CCU is to be believed, that would be Gorsuch’s anti-choice, anti-gay, pro-bigotry political views (no word on how Gorsuch feels about the new Beauty and the Beast movie).

Bennet Introduces Gorsuch With Praise For Merrick Garland

TUESDAY UPDATE: Sen. Michael Bennet’s introduction of Neil Gorsuch appears to impressed somebody notable:

—–

Word spread late last week that Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet would join GOP Sen. Cory Gardner in introducing U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch of Colorado to the Senate Judiciary Committee today. This afternoon that took place–with Gardner giving his widely-expected glowing endorsement of Gorsuch, and as for Bennet…well?

 

In short, Bennet warmly praises Gorsuch, saying he “exemplifies some of the finest qualities of Colorado.” That and several other statements by Bennet praising Gorsuch in terms that seem to gloss over very serious policy differences between these two men will be enough to make Colorado Democrats quite nervous.

Niceties aside, Bennet did speak out strongly against the treatment of Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee who was denied a hearing by Republicans for almost a year. Bennet makes it clear that he considers “Judge Gorsuch a nominee to fill the Garland seat on the Supreme Court.” With that said, Bennet says that “two wrongs don’t make a right,” and that Gorsuch should receive a fair hearing.

Sen. Bennet didn’t give any definitive indication on how he intends to vote on Gorsuch, and it’s a longstanding tradition for a nominee’s home-state Senators to introduce them. But the first blush of reactions we’ve heard from Democrats are lukewarm at best. Bennet’s vote for or against Gorsuch represents what may be the greatest test of his values since his appointment in 2009, and it will be remembered.

Stay tuned, this drama is just warming up.

Gorsuch/Anschutz Exposé Puts Bennet on Hot Seat

Phil Anschutz.

The New York Times put out a story late yesterday that’s driving a lot of discussion in Colorado–detailing very close ties between U.S Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz that raise a number of previously unasked questions:

Mr. Anschutz’s influence is especially felt in his home state of Colorado, where years ago Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, a Denver native, the son of a well-known Colorado Republican and now President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, was drawn into his orbit.

As a lawyer at a Washington law firm in the early 2000s, Judge Gorsuch represented Mr. Anschutz, his companies and lower-ranking business executives as an outside counsel. In 2006, Mr. Anschutz successfully lobbied Colorado’s lone Republican senator and the Bush administration to nominate Judge Gorsuch to the federal appeals court. And since joining the court, Judge Gorsuch has been a semiregular speaker at the mogul’s annual dove-hunting retreats for the wealthy and politically prominent at his 60-square-mile Eagles Nest Ranch.

“They say a country’s prosperity depends on three things: sound money, private property and the rule of law,” Judge Gorsuch said at the 2010 retreat, according to his speaker notes from that year. “This crowd hardly needs to hear from me about the first two of the problems we face on those scores.”

As an outside counsel for Anschutz’s business empire, Gorsuch reportedly worked on a number of high-profile cases. But the big news in this story, something we and we’re pretty sure most Coloradans were not aware of, was Anschutz’s apparent heavy lobbying for Gorsuch’s appointment as a federal judge in 2006. Since his appointment, Gorsuch has apparently recused himself from some–but not all–cases that came before his court with a relationship to Phil Anschutz.

A surprising omission from this New York Times story is the fact that Gorsuch’s service as counsel to Anschutz overlaps with Sen. Michael Bennet’s tenure as Managing Director of the Anschutz Investment Company. Bennet’s employment by Anschutz is of course a matter of record, but obviously disclosure of these ties between Neil Gorsuch and Phil Anschutz invite new questions about how that association might affect Bennet’s vote to confirm Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Sen. Bennet has been very reserved about Gorsuch’s nomination, and is publicly undecided on whether to support him.

With Democrats generally hardening in opposition to Gorsuch as confirmation hearings prepare to begin, this could be a big moment for Sen. Bennet to refute some of the persistent criticism he gets on his left. A vote against Gorsuch–and especially against cloture to proceed to the simple majority confirmation vote itself–is an opportunity for Bennet to prove he’s his own man, at a moment it would really count.

Whether he likes it or not, Bennet is now front-and-center in the Gorsuch confirmation battle. Stay tuned.

Rep. Joe Salazar Runs for Attorney General

UPDATE: FOX 31’s Joe St. George updating via Twitter that Boulder County DA Stan Garnett has also filed to run for AG, but hasn’t formally committed yet:

—–

Rep. Joe Salazar.

FOX 31 reporting Friday afternoon:

“I will be fearless in standing up to bullies like Donald Trump, who would use their power to restrict our freedoms and undermine our civil rights.”

This is how Democratic State Representative Joe Salazar began his informal announcement for his candidacy for Colorado Attorney General Friday.

Salazar has filed the required paperwork to establish his candidacy and plans a more formal announcement later in the year.

Salazar is in his third term representing House District 31, which includes parts of Thornton and unincorporated Adams County. He serves as Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Joe Salazar’s decision to run for Attorney General narrows the Democratic field in the 2018 gubernatorial race, where he had longed been rumored as a possible contender. Salazar would likely enjoy the support of the Bernie Sanders wing of the Colorado Democratic Party, after vocally supporting Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary.

Salazar’s chances of advancement are much better in the AG race in 2018 than a crowded gubernatorial primary in which he would have likely been overmatched by senior competitors. But don’t rule out a primary in this race either, between Salazar and one (or more) other interested Democratic contenders.

With that said, Joe Salazar is a well-qualified candidate who’s not afraid to scrap.

BREAKING: A Real Life Voter Fraud Conviction!

A press release moments ago from El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman announces one of the rarest events in American politics, even if it’s one of the most commonly feared: a conviction for actual vote fraud by an actual voter.

The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder’s Office is pleased to announce a conviction has been secured in one of the outstanding voter fraud cases being investigated by the District Attorney’s Office. Toni Newbill pleaded guilty to voting twice under Colorado Revised Statute 1-13-710. The penalty for this crime includes probation, community service, a fine, and other court fees. Ms. Newbill attempted to cast Ralph Nanninga’s ballot in the 2016 Primary Election. Mr. Nanninga passed away in 2012.

“I’d like to thank our District Attorney Dan May and his staff for their great work on this case,” said Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman. “Our office takes voter fraud seriously and we’re committed to combating it in every form. We’ll continue to work with various agencies to prevent voter fraud, clean up registration lists, and prosecute those who try to abuse our democratic system.”

To say that Republican elected officials “take voter fraud seriously” is a bit of an understatement, since vote fraud claims formed an outsize component of Republican pre-election messaging in the 2016 elections. It’s true that Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican himself, pushed back on Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated accusations that the “election is rigged,” but that didn’t stop the rumors from spreading within conservative media. Just as one example, former Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s unfounded claims of “tens of thousands” of illegal voters in Colorado were recycled by national conservative columnist Michelle Malkin with absolutely no regard for truthfulness.

But never mind all that, now we’ve got a real-life voter who has pled guilty to voting twice! Surely that confirms Republicans’ worst fears of rampant voter fraud, right? The answer is no, for two reasons. The first is that this conviction is evidence the system works. The attempt in this case by a Colorado voter to cast two ballots was not successful, because the voter in question, Toni Newbill, was caught.

And the second reason? Toni Newbill is a registered Republican. The election in which she attempted to cast two ballots was the 2016 primary election, in which the marquee contest was the Republican U.S. Senate primary–the same primary that saw frontrunner Jon Keyser’s campaign collapse under allegations of petition fraud, which later resulted in a felony conviction of a Keyser campaign subcontractor.

Far from proving the unsubstantiated claims from President Trump and others that vote fraud is a major problem, this one case against the backdrop of millions of votes legally and properly cast in Colorado proves that there isn’t a problem–at least no problem that merits clamping down on the system, impeding access to the franchise by thousands in order to prevent the exceedingly rare instance of actual lawbreaking.

If that blows a hole in your cherished conspiracy theories, we’re not sorry.

Local is better, isn’t it? Neil Gorsuch

(Promoted by Colorado Pols) 

By Hillary Larson and Sarah Brooks

Around Colorado, we’ve noticed a fair amount of support for Neil Gorsuch. He is, of course, a homegrown Coloradoan who has served on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver for over a decade. Despite Gorsuch’s lengthy tenure on the bench, his decisions have not always reflected the views of his constituents.

Coloradans have consistently supported protective environmental legislation that safeguards this beautiful state and our public health. Additionally, access to reproductive health resources has long been a top priority for Coloradans. Will Gorsuch represent these values while serving the Supreme Court?

We have our doubts; here’s why.

Gorsuch

During his time on the 10th Circuit, SCOTUS nominee Gorsuch repeatedly sided with employers and companies, citing their own religious beliefs as the basis for denying contraception access to their women employees. Yet Colorado has consistently been a pro-choice state, which directly conflicts with Gorsuch’s anti-reproductive rights perspective on the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case. This case resulted in Hobby Lobby stores denying its female employees access to contraceptives under company health insurance.

Most mapping shows that Gorsuch is actually further to right on the political spectrum than his predecessor, Anthony Scalia1, who regularly opposed environmental protections. A New York Times editorial cited Gorsuch’s surprising position on deference courts: “He [Gorsuch] is even more conservative than Justice Scalia in at least one area—calling for an end to the deference courts [courts that allocate decisions to alternate parties, such as a government agency] additionally show to administrative agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency, that are charged with implementing complex and important federal laws.”

In the next four years, there will likely be cases in which supreme court justices must side with environmental protection and corporate interest. With the climate-change denying, environmental regulation opposing Scott Pruitt as the new administrator of our Environmental Protection Agency, Gorsuch will become the 5-4 tiebreaker on our nation’s highest court. Do we really want someone who won’t defend our natural landscapes, clean air and water in that position?

We need the court to safeguard our environmental protections because we certainly can’t rely on President Donald Trump, or Scott Pruitt, to do so. The next four years are crucial in terms of creating protective, preventative environmental legislation. If Gorsuch is confirmed and opposes more stringent protection, it will sent a precedent of neglect amongst the Supreme Court.

As Coloradans, we’ll proudly shout from the rooftops that we live in one of the best states there is. If one of our judges is going to represent the nation, they should have a far better track record for protecting our human rights and environment than Neil Gorsuch.

But wait, we could still do so much worse!

We agree, Gorsuch is most likely not the actual devil. Given Trump’s cabinet and advisor selection, many people argue that he could have chosen a more destructive nominee, therefore we should hold our nose and deal with Gorsuch.

It is possible for Trump to have picked a worse nominee, but are those really the standards we’re holding ourselves to right now? If we start judging our nation by the worst possible outcome, we will fail. We will fail our state, we will fail our families and we will fail the planet. So let’s fight for the best.

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/01/31/us/politics/trump-supreme-court-nominee.html

Colorado Sheriffs Debunk “Sanctuary” Fakery

An open letter this week from the County Sheriffs of Colorado attempts to clarify the role and legal responsibility of law enforcement with regard to detaining undocumented immigrants for eventual transfer to federal immigration authorities. Our generally conservative elected county sheriffs in Colorado are clearly taking heat from constituents energized by the President Donald Trump, and want out of the low-information line of fire:

Recently, there has been increased interest in the topic of how local governments work with federal immigration authorities. As Colorado Sheriffs, we’ve received inquiries on how our jails cooperate with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE.) Some have claimed that Colorado Sheriffs offer sanctuary to illegal immigrants in their custody. Let us clear the air.

Sheriffs hold the rule of law as sacred. We are elected with the authority to enforce the laws of Colorado and to protect the rights guaranteed in the federal and state Constitutions.

Our jails serve two distinct purposes. One is a judicial function, the other is a detention function. Under our judicial function, we hold persons accused of a crime awaiting trial, if a court has not authorized their release. This includes persons taken into custody on warrants issued by a judge or persons arrested by a peace officer under a probable cause arrest. If the court authorizes the arrestee’s release, we must release them…

Outside of legally recognized exigent circumstances, we cannot hold persons in jail at the request of a local police officer or a federal agent. To do so, would violate the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution. While Colorado Sheriffs do not have the authority to enforce federal laws, we do work cooperatively with a large variety of federal law enforcement agencies. At times, we participate in federal task forces and other times, we share information on potential federal crimes with those federal law enforcement agencies. This includes sharing information on all arrestees in our jails with the FBI and ICE. This gives them the opportunity to determine which arrestees might also be wanted by federal authorities or who might be in violation of our federal immigration laws.

If federal authorities present us with a warrant or other detainer, signed by a judge or a magistrate, we hold those persons for federal authorities to pick up. However, the courts have ruled that we have no authority to hold arrestees on administrative holds that have not been reviewed and approved by federal judges or magistrates.

Sheriffs have informed ICE that in order to comply with the 4th Amendment, we must get judicially approved holds or warrants. However, at this time, ICE chooses not to do this.

Recently, some have chosen to accuse Sheriffs of providing sanctuary to illegal immigrants, simply because we are complying with the Constitution, as determined by federal courts. This is an absolutely unsubstantiated and ridiculous claim. [Pols emphasis]

We wouldn’t put any bets on the Peter Boyles talk-radio crowd laying off the sheriffs and local governments who they regularly accuse of everything up to and including treason for not keeping undocumented immigrants locked up, but this letter is useful to prove to anyone not already on the fringe of the issue that our local law enforcers are enforcing immigration law to the full extent that it is practicable to do so.

So, you know, enough with the conspiracy theories and stupid bills.

Neil Gorsuch Founded The “Fascism Forever Club”–Wait, What?!

UPDATE: Michael O’Laughlin updates the story, and we’re happy to report that there was no real “Fascism Forever” club at Georgetown Prep:

Mr. Gorsuch, who was nominated on Jan. 31 to the Supreme Court by President Donald J. Trump, participated in the informal debates, where he was routinely teased, accused of being “a conservative fascist.” No shrinking violet, he would shoot back, taking on the liberal ethos of the school and even arguing with religion teachers about the liberal theological trends in vogue at the time…

He wrote that he founded and led the “Fascism Forever Club,” though those with knowledge of the school back in the 1980s say there was no such club. The mention of it in the yearbook was a tongue-in-cheek attempt to poke fun at liberal peers who teased him about his fierce conservatism.

At the same time,

The yearbook’s mention of the club is not the only item on Mr. Gorsuch’s profile that is raising eyebrows in some circles: A sarcastic quote from Henry Kissinger about how to get away with unconstitutional activities appears in both his prep school yearbook as well as his Columbia University yearbook.

We guess we feel a little better now! Trump and fascism, folks. Joking or not, it’s a recurring theme.

—–

Here’s a bizarre story coming today from reporter Michael O’Laughlin of America: The Jesuit Review via DailyKos, about Colorado’s native son U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, and his formative years at Washington’s tony Catholic Georgetown Prep School:

That’s right: in a yearbook from Gorsuch’s time at this elite conservative private school, he is identified as the “founder and president” of something called the “Fascism Forever Club.” Now, we should be very clear that we don’t have any real context for this, other than the fact that Gorsuch was described by classmates as a very conservative guy.

And of course, fascism sits on the right end of conservatism.

But look folks, maybe we should give the youthful Neil Gorsuch the benefit of the doubt. Haven’t we all said silly things out of youth and inexperience? Surely Gorsuch hadn’t, you know, thought these things through when he established joked about the “Fascism Forever Club.”

“The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.” Now there’s a memorable quote from America’s original Machiavellian dark prince, Henry Kissinger! And we would probably dismiss this as a joke from Gorsuch too, but for the fact that conservatives still revere Henry Kissinger. So…we’ll have to see how Gorsuch responds to these questions in confirmation hearings.

One thing’s for sure, this is not the sort of unearthed past that makes confirmations a breeze.

NO JUSTICE, NO SEAT: rally tomorrow to stop Trump and Neil Gorsuch

Last night, Donald Trump made another horrible mistake in nominating far-right Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the United States Supreme Court.

Join us tomorrow at noon at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in downtown Denver as we stand together as Coloradans to reject Neil Gorsuch. Click here to RSVP via Facebook.

Gorsuch’s fringe views on health care and contraception make him an enemy of Colorado women. On the Supreme Court, Gorsuch would be a vote to roll back abortion rights, environmental protections, and hard-won protections against discrimination in the workplace. Gorsuch has even been endorsed by the founder of the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-LGBT extremist group.

We can’t forget that this Supreme Court seat was stolen from President Obama last year. No Democrat should in any way cooperate with or otherwise enable Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination, including Colorado Democrats. To do so would only hand Trump another undeserved victory.

Gorsuch may hail from Colorado, but his record stands in opposition to Colorado values. Now the eyes of the whole nation are on Colorado to see if we have the courage to stand up for what’s right. We can’t let them down.

Join us at noon tomorrow to say NO to Donald Trump and Neil Gorsuch. And forward this alert to everyone you know who can make it. We have to speak out right now before the Trump administration can ram this nomination through.

President Trump Nominates Colorado Judge Neil Gorsuch

UPDATE #5: LGBT advocacy group One Colorado:

“Religious freedom is a core American value that we all cherish, and it is already protected by the Constitution. Attempts to give a license to discriminate through religious exemptions are contrary to the notion that we should treat others as we wish to be treated and scores of faith leaders have spoken out against such policies — including last week here in Colorado.

“A Supreme Court that would rule in support of religious exemptions would certainly open LGBTQ Americans up to discrimination and open up a can of worms that could allow individuals to ignore child welfare, domestic violence, or other laws that someone could contend is contrary to their religion.

“The Supreme Court has the potential to shape the future of our nation for generations to come and Supreme Court Justices should be committed to upholding America’s promise of fairness and freedom for all. We call on Colorado’s U.S. Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet to reject President Trump’s nominee.”

—–

UPDATE #4: Sen. Michael Bennet’s spox, polite but not what you’d call enthusiastic:

“As a fellow Coloradan, Michael congratulates Judge Gorsuch and his family. He takes seriously the Senate’s responsibility to advise and consent on Supreme Court nominations. He intends to review Judge Gorsuch’s record carefully in the coming weeks.”

—–

UPDATE #3: A healthy dose of skepticism from Rep. Ed Perlmutter:

But Reps. Scott Tipton, Ken Buck, Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman are predictably all smiles:

—–

UPDATE #2: The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews:

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., in a statement Tuesday night called Gorsuch “one of our country’s brightest legal minds with significant experience as a federal judge and a private litigator.”

“He is an ardent defender of the Constitution and he has the appropriate temperament to serve on the nation’s highest court,” Gardner said. “Judge Gorsuch also adds to the court’s Western perspective, with his understanding of uniquely Western issues like water and public lands issues. I’m enthusiastic about the native Coloradan’s nomination and will work to ensure that his confirmation process is fair, thorough, and expedient.”

But NARAL Pro Choice Colorado is decidedly less positive:

“Judge Gorsuch has a record of ruling in a way that does not reflect Colorado values on reproductive rights. This is a pro-choice state that supports the Constitutional right to abortion enshrined in Roe and the right to privacy enshrined in Griswold – beliefs that are contradicted in Judge Gorsuch’s ruling in Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters.

What’s troubling in Judge Gorsuch’s ruling in Hobby Lobby was his apparent support for “personhood”, the conferring of legal rights to a fertilized egg. He said that, “the mandate compels Hobby Lobby and Mardel to underwrite payments for drugs or devices that can have the effect of destroying a fertilized human egg.”

This is not only unscientific and counter to Griswold and Roe, it is counter to the will of Colorado voters. Coloradans have said in landslide numbers in the voting booth that they oppose personhood, which would outlaw all abortion and many forms of contraception.

As the first state to allow safe, legal abortion in 1967, after Griswold and before Roe, Colorado has a long, bipartisan history of supporting reproductive rights. Judge Gorsuch does not reflect the will of our state or the Constitutional rights of American women and we would oppose his nomination.”

Ian Silverii of ProgressNow Colorado is similarly talking tough:

“Neil Gorsuch is just the latest in a series of horrible choices by Donald Trump,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. “Gorsuch’s fringe views on health care and contraception make him an enemy of Colorado women. On the Supreme Court, Gorsuch would be a vote to roll back women’s rights, environmental protections, and hard-won protections against discrimination in the workplace. Gorsuch has even been endorsed by the founder of the National Organization for Marriage, an anti-LGBT extremist group. Gorsuch may hail from Colorado, but his record stands in opposition to Colorado values.”

“The simple fact is that this Supreme Court appointment was stolen from President Obama last year in a shameful act of Republican treachery,” said Silverii. “No Democrat should in any way cooperate with or otherwise enable Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination, including Colorado Democrats. To do so would only hand Trump another undeserved victory.”

—–

UPDATE: It’s Gorsuch. Stand by for statements and coverage.

—–

Neil Gorsuch

The news has been leaking out of Washington D.C. for the past couple of hours: Colorado Judge Neil Gorsuch appears to be Donald Trump’s choice for the Supreme Court vacancy.

Here’s more from National Review:

President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court will be Neil Gorsuch, a well-respected conservative whose legal philosophy is remarkably similar to that of Antonin Scalia, the justice he will replace if the Senate confirms him. He is, like Scalia, a textualist and an originalist: someone who interprets legal provisions as their words were originally understood.

For more background on Gorsuch, check out Politico and Think Progress.

Bennet Says “Hell No” To Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

A press release from Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet’s office earlier today, not unexpected but strongly worded in its announcement that he Colorado’s senior U.S. Senator will not support fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination to serve as President Donald Trump’s Attorney General:

“The U.S. Attorney General must ensure equal justice under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Jeff Sessions has repeatedly opposed efforts to protect the rights and liberties of all Americans. I cannot support his nomination. [Pols emphasis]

“On a variety of issues, Senator Sessions falls short. He has blocked bipartisan efforts to expand voting rights, protect women from harassment and violence, and reform our criminal justice system. In 2013, when a bipartisan group of senators crafted principled and compassionate comprehensive immigration reform legislation, Senator Sessions was its most outspoken opponent. During that debate, he used fear and falsehoods to derail our best chance in years to fix a broken system.

“This week’s executive orders on immigration make clear that Senator Sessions’ views will shape the Trump administration’s policies. We need a chief law enforcement officer who protects the civil rights of every American, not one who perpetuates fear and undermines our obligation to ensure equal justice under the law.”

As a member of the so-called Gang of Eight attempt at bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform in 2013, Bennet certainly should harbor some resentment toward anti-immigration Senators who gave the House cover to let the bill die after Senate passage–not to mention some particular ire for backsliders like Sen. Marco Rubio who were pressured out of supporting the effort.

But as you can see, Sen. Bennet’s criticism of Sessions goes much deeper than just immigration reform. Bennet’s inference that Sessions “perpetuates fear and undermines our obligation to ensure equal justice under the law” is one of the more scathing indictments as we’ve heard from anyone against Sessions–and considering what happened to Sessions last time he face Senate confirmation, that’s saying quite a bit.