Some in Weld County legal community praise Neil Gorsuch confirmation, express worries about the process
April 7, 2017
While some in Weld County's legal community trust Neil Gorsuch to be a fair justice on the Supreme Court, they expressed reservations Friday about how he got there.
"I think he will do a fine job. It's been my experience that most judges who are selected for that position leave their personal politics aside and just decide cases based on the law and their interpretation," said Al Dominguez, who served as the Weld District Attorney from 1989-2005. "I have been disgusted by how both parties have approached the issue of replacing that position."
The Senate voted Thursday to change the chamber's rules so that a simple majority of 51 votes was needed to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. Before, it had required 60. On Friday, the Senate voted 54-45 to confirm Gorsuch, a Denver-based judge, to the Supreme Court. Sen. Cory Gardner was one of 52 Republicans who voted for the change to the required votes, known as the "nuclear option."
"This does seem to be a step toward a more partisan and less deliberative Senate, but I'm not sure it hasn't been there already for some time," said longtime Greeley Tim Brynteson, who works at Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC, 1812 56th Ave. in Greeley.
Republicans invoked the change to put an end to a filibuster by Senate Democrats, who said the failure of Senate Republicans to consider Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland was unfair.
"I think that it's going to be whoever is in power in the White House and in Congress will be able to dictate who goes into the Supreme Court. Real, intelligent debate may not occur," Dominguez said. "But then we won't know until it actually happens."
Both Dominguez and Brynteson said the Senate's partisanship over Gorsuch's confirmation suggested a certain immaturity.
"Only time will tell how much of a real impact it has, and any future Senate can always re-impose the rule if we ever find ourselves back with mature, statesmanlike senators or at least a majority willing to take that step," Brynteson said.