NIWOT, Colo. — The Fourth of July brought a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court back to Colorado.
Neil Gorsuch celebrated the most patriotic day on the calendar during Niwot’s Fourth of July parade on Tuesday morning.
“The patriotism, the waving flags. It’s just great,” parade watcher Diana Wartburg said.
But on a day to celebrate the nation’s birthday, they also honor one of their Boulder County neighbors, who ascended to the nation’s most powerful judicial body.
Gorsuch set aside his judicial robe for khakis and a baseball cap, sharing a ride in the parade with his wife and daughter.
“When we heard that he lived a few miles from here, we were proud, so proud to have him,” Wartburg said.
But it didn’t take long to see literal signs of disagreement.
One man held a sign that reads: “Theft of Garland Nomination is a Supreme Injustice.”
Critics say the new justice should have been appointed by former President Barack Obama.
“He had a Supreme Court seat open for almost a year, and Mitch McConnell and company refused to do anything about it,” parade watcher Martin Murphy said. “And now they have taken it over, basically robbed it from the people of the United States.”
“I can’t really celebrate him. I agree with my friend with the sign here. This is a stolen seat,” parade watcher Elaine Erb said.
But for most at the parade, their focus was not on politics — but on the freedom the day represents.
“There are a lot of opinions and everybody has a right to their opinion. But this is about the community parade and the grand marshal and Niwot,” said one spectator, who didn’t want to give her name.
It’s a tiny town that when push comes to shove, realizes that what unites them is greater than what divides them: Love of country and family.
Some spectators speculated this could be the first and last time Gorsuch appears in the parade because his Boulder County home is up for sale.