Colorado cases, landmarks brought up during Gorsuch hearing

WASHINGTON -- It is no surprise that Colorado Judge Neil Gorsuch talked about the state's people and places a lot during his confirmation hearing Tuesday.

After all, much of his personal and professional life happened here.

Brown Palace Hotel

During an exchange with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Gorsuch discussed the annual stock show in Denver. He mentioned how much it has meant to him and his family -- as well as some of his former clerks.

Gorsuch compared the Brown Palace to the Willard Hotel in Washington and recalled how ever year cattle are brought into the lobby during the National Western Stock Show.

Judge Byron White

Gorsuch has previously called Byron White his mentor. White is the only Coloradoan to have previously served on the Supreme Court.

White was also a successful halfback for the University of Colorado.

Gorsuch discussed how White would often ask his legal opinion when he was younger.

CU Law School 

One of the more controversial issues going into these hearings was an allegation that Gorsuch told CU Law School students that he believed women had abused maternity leave regulations.

Gorsuch denied that accusation but said he was asking women in his class if they had ever felt "abused" by inappropriate pregnancy questions.

"I am shocked, senator, every year at how many women raise their hands," Gorsuch said.

CU assault case

When asked about cases where he ruled for the "little guy," Gorsuch mentioned the time he ruled in favor of women who were assaulted by CU athletes.

Rocky Flats ruling

Gorsuch also mentioned the time he ruled in favor of victims and their families in the Rocky Flats scandal -- the nuclear plant in Louisville that had been polluting inappropriately for years.

"The Rocky Flats case vindicated the rights of people subject to pollution by large companies in Colorado, uranium pollution," Gorsuch said.

Philip Anschutz

Another major criticism by Democrats has been Gorsuch's ties to Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz.

Anschutz previously advocated to the Bush administration for Gorsuch's appointment to the appellate court. Gorsuch downplayed his friendship with Anschutz.

"All of my clients -- an awful lot of them -- came out of the woodwork to say nice things about me and Phil Anschutz was one," Gorsuch said.