For the April Meeting, Judge Gorsuch’s Group presented the program “THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S DUTY TO DEFEND THE LAW” featuring guest speaker former Colorado Attorney General, John Suthers.
Mr. Suthers, currently a candidate for Mayor of Colorado Springs, interacted with Inn Members during the cocktail hour and talked about the transition from being the Attorney General of Colorado to a candidate in a mayoral election.
During his speech, Mr. Suthers explained to the Inn members his view of the office of Attorney General and what he believed were consitutional and appropriate actions to take. He emphasized that as Attorney General, his role was not to take positions based on his personal views or public policy, but was duty bound to defend state laws regardless. This included, for example, his defending Colorado’s gun control laws despite the fact that members of his own party greatly opposed them. Mr. Suthers also guided the members through his reasoning for his actions during the controversy over gay marriage laws in Colorado. Mr. Suthers opposed attorneys general from utilizing what he has coined a “litigation veto,” which is failing to defend a state law because that A.G. believes the law to be unjust or bad policy. When challenged by Inn Members, Mr. Suthers also defended his decision to join the states’ lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act.
Read an OP/ED by Mr. Suthers on these topics here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-veto-attorneys-general-shouldnt-wield/2014/02/02/64082fc8-887e-11e3-a5bd-844629433ba3_story.html