By Shaun Boyd
DENVER (CBS4) – A Coloradan will be sworn in as the next justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Democrats tried to block the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch, but the Senate changed the rules to end filibusters for Supreme Court nominees and advance nominations with a simple majority.
The confirmation caps a year of bitter partisan feuding, keeps the conservative tilt to the nation’s highest court and puts a Colorado native on the bench.
Judge Timothy Tymkovich is the Chief Justice for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, on which Gorsuch served. He told CBS4 that he is very proud of his colleague.
“This is a historic day for the 10th Circuit and for Colorado. Judge Gorsuch is the first Colorado native since Byron White to be selected and confirmed to the United States Supreme Court,” Tymkovich said. “And it’s a big day for the 10th Circuit because he’s the first judge from our court to be elevated to the Supreme Court.”
Colorado’s U.S. senators were divided on Gorsuch’s confirmation: Democrat Michael Bennet opposed Gorsuch. Republican Cory Gardner supported him.
“He has a heavy responsibility upon his shoulders — a responsibility to be a guardian of the Constitution, to apply the laws equally and fairly, to dispense justice blindly. It’s important we understand the gravity with which he accepts this position,” Gardner told CBS4. “But, to have a Coloradan on the high court with understanding of Western issues, public lands issues, water issues; who’s an avid fly fisherman and a great skier, I think means good things for the state of Colorado to come.”
The new justice will play a decisive role right away.
Next week, the court takes up a religious freedom case and in the coming weeks will decide whether to hear cases involving gun rights and voting rights.
“He needs to roll up his sleeves and get to work on Monday,” says Tymkovich, “The court has 12 cases to be argued the week after next. He has no time to breathe a sigh of relief.”
Tymkovich says he hopes to be in Washington for the swearing in ceremony next week.