Gorsuch's Liberal Colleagues and Students Love Him

Leah Barkoukis
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Posted: Feb 01, 2017 8:45 AM
Gorsuch's Liberal Colleagues and Students Love Him

In addition to being a federal appeals court judge in Denver, Colo., Neil Gorsuch is also an adjunct law professor at the ultra-liberal University of Colorado. But what his peers, colleagues, and students have to say about him is far different than how some Democrats are portraying him.

He is widely respected among his disproportionately liberal peers, colleagues and students in Boulder, who describe him as brilliant, thoughtful and charming.

Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett, a Democrat, called Gorsuch "very ethical" and "very smart."

"I found him to be a person of character and quality, intellectually curious and willing to debate all sides," offered Jordan Henry, a CU Law student and staunch liberal. "I think he's dedicated to the truth, to justice, to the justice system.

"I may not always agree with him but I do think he gives all voices a fair hearing, and that's all you can ask of a judge." […]

Attorney Mark Hansen was Gorsuch's first boss, at the Washington, D.C., firm Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans and Figel, and he believes his onetime colleague and still friend is well equipped to handle the storm any Trump nominee will invariably encounter.

"I think if anybody could be ready for it, it'd be someone like Neil, who's very down-to-earth and intelligent and not a brittle sort of guy," Hansen said.

That last quality is something Scalia did not always display. Gorsuch is similarly charismatic, but not quite so abrasive. One student described him as a "1950s game-show host."

"I have nothing but the utmost confidence in his ability to handle attention put on him," said Savannah Schaefer, a CU Law graduate. "He's a phenomenal guy and just brilliant. I think he'd be a gift, in some ways, if we got him nominated."

Schaefer grew up with a Democrat mom and Republican dad, and said, "I think they'd both respect the heck out of him."

Added Hansen: "He acts and relates well to all people, and he did the same sort of thing in trial, where he was very good at making connections with jurors. He's a regular person. It's part of being a westerner."

Brilliant, thoughtful, charming. But to some Beltway liberals, he’s an “illegitimate and extreme nominee” who has a “deep sympathy for corporate interests and an apparent disdain for workers.” 

This post has been updated.