By: Ed Barlett, Board Member, Montana Chamber of Commerce
After careful consideration, the Montana Chamber is supporting the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States. We thank US Sen. Steve Daines for his commitment to vote to confirm. We urge our members – and all Montanans – to contact Montana’s United States Senator Jon Tester and ask him to support confirmation of Judge Gorsuch. Sen. Tester has asked Montanans to use the following portal to comment on the nomination: https://www.tester.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=4900.
This is the first time the State Chamber has endorsed a US Supreme Court nominee. Envision 2026, the ten-year strategic plan of the Montana Chamber of Commerce, focuses on legal climate. This endorsement furthers our mission of improving the legal climate. The decision came after research and consultation with our Government Affairs Committee, our Montana Justice Coalition, and our Board of Directors.
Judge Gorsuch has an impeccable record and we believe he will be an excellent US Supreme Court Justice. Judge Gorsuch holds a doctoral degree in legal philosophy from Oxford University, where he studied as a Marshall scholar; a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he studied as a Harry S. Truman scholar; and an undergraduate degree from Columbia University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.
Judge Gorsuch began his legal career as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justices Byron R. White and Anthony M. Kennedy, as well as to Judge David B. Sentelle of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He then entered private practice where he was a partner at the law firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, and specialized in complex litigation. His matters ranged from antitrust to securities fraud, fiduciary duty to telecommunications. He regularly represented both plaintiffs and defendants, and his clients included individuals, non-profits, class actions, and small companies, as well as Fortune 500 companies.
Prior to his judicial appointment, Judge Gorsuch served at the United States Department of Justice as Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General. There, he helped oversee the Department’s five civil litigating divisions, together with eight other operating components. Judge Gorsuch is the recipient of the Edward J. Randolph Award for outstanding service to the Department of Justice, and of the Harry S. Truman Foundation’s Stevens Award for outstanding public service in the field of law. He earned “unanimously well-qualified” rating from American Bar Association, 2006.
Judge Gorsuch was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in May 2006. His nomination was confirmed in the United States Senate by unanimous voice vote. The jurisdiction of the Tenth Circuit includes those portions of Yellowstone National Park extending into Montana. In fact, he already represents Montana.
Judge Gorsuch has a well-established record as a mainstream judge who upholds the rule of law and doesn’t legislate from the bench. He is familiar with Montana and knows our values. We encourage everyone to contact Sen. Tester and ask him to vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the highest Court in the Land.
Ed Bartlett is an attorney in Helena, a Board member of the Montana Chamber of Commerce, and Chair of the Montana Justice Coalition.