Justice Neil Gorsuch

By Lynda Millner   |   September 26, 2019
Eating dinner under the plane in the Air Force One Pavilion at the Reagan Library
Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch at the Reagan Library for a talk

The Channel City Club and Committee on Foreign Relations members under the leadership of Judy Hill climbed on a sold-out bus and headed to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. The occasion was an appearance by Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch. Our bus wasn’t the only sold-out thing. There were no more tickets for his talk either.

Judge Gorsuch is a Colorado native. Prior to his appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2017, he served as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He has a new book, A Republic, If You Can Keep It. He weighs in on the essential aspects of our Constitution, its separation of powers and the vital liberties it protects. “This book is about my faith in America and our constitution.” He maintains we need to uphold the constitution, not change it.

Instead of a speech, the Judge had a conversation with the chair of the board of trustees for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation and Institute Fred Ryan. He’s also the publisher and CEO of the Washington Post. The Judge told how when he was first appointed he got to use the Lincoln bedroom for an office for one day. He saw the bullet holes in the White House kitchen that are still there from the 1800s.

A statue of President Ronald Reagan at the entrance to his Library

Some of his comments: “How blessed we are to live under our constitution. How different politicians are from judges – they are elected.” He told us there are 50 million lawsuits a year, but 95% are solved, only 5% are appeals. The Supreme Court hears 70 cases a year of the 8,000 that would like to be heard. The Judges are able to settle 40 of their cases unanimously. That takes a lot of work and cooperation. “Most of our children would fail the test for naturalization. Some kids think it’s not important to live in a democracy. Civics used to be taught. Republics are fragile and ours has lived the longest. Somebody has to run the zoo. That will be our young people.”

When Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention, he was reportedly asked what kind of government the founders would purpose. He replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

After the talk we headed for the Air Force One Pavilion where we sat under the plane at tables to eat our buffet dinner. Pretty amazing! The Reagan Library is the only presidential library that has a plane and consequently gets more visitors.

If you’d like to be part of the Channel City Club, call 805.564.6223.


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