Tags: Donald Trump | Supreme Court | judge | Neil Gorsuch | EPA | environment

Mother of Judge Gorsuch Was No Stranger to Controversy

Image: Mother of Judge Gorsuch Was No Stranger to Controversy

Anne McGill Gorsuch Burford in 1983. (AP Photo/John Duricka)

By
Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 10:52 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Coloradans cheered the nomination Tuesday of Judge Neil Gorsuch as the first resident of the Centennial State to be named to the Supreme Court since the late Byron "Whizzer" White in 1962.

But older Coloradans, and conservatives in general, responded to the Gorsuch name by recalling the nominee's late mother Anne Gorsuch Burford, who was President Ronald Reagan's ever-controversial Environmental Protection Administrator.

As Anne Gorsuch, the Denver attorney and deputy district attorney won election to the state House of Representatives in 1976. In office, she was part of a group of conservative activists dubbed "the House Crazies."

Four years later, she was named by President Reagan to head the EPA. In that position, she slashed her budget by 22 percent, reduced the size of EPA's staff, and cut the number of cases her office filed against polluters. She also eased many restrictions of the Clean Air Act (allowing greater spraying of pesticides).

These actions made the administrator a heroine to conservatives. But along with then-Secretary of the Interior James Watt, Anne Gorsuch became one of the top "hate figures" of Greenpeace, the League of Conservation Voters, and other national environmental groups.

In 1983, she became Anne Gorsuch Burford after she married second husband Bob Burford (a onetime colleague of hers in the Colorado legislature and then head of the Federal Bureau of Land Management).

That same year, she came under fire over the handling of the $1.6 billion toxic waste fund known as "Superfund." Burford at first refused to cooperate with congressional subpoenas, and the EPA claimed executive privilege. She finally turned over the documents Congress requested and, under intense pressure, she resigned in 1983.

Former Rep. Ken Kramer (R.-Col.), who had earlier served with Gorsuch in the state legislature, recalled being "among a very small number of her defenders in the House when the White House Counsel through her under the bus after she followed his instructions not to divulge to Congress certain EPA documents."

In later years, Burford returned to private practice and defended some controversial clients. Among them was former Rep. George V. Hansen, R-Idaho, whose battles with the IRS and violation of congressional disclosure requirements resulted in two prison sentences in the late '80s.

Anne Gorsuch Burford died of cancer in 2004 at age 62. She did not live to see her son nominated to the Supreme Court, or even the U.S. Court of Appeals.

As Neil Gorsuch prepares for his confirmation hearing, he might be advised to read his mother's own memoir of her trials by political fire. It was entitled, appropriately, "Are You Tough Enough?"

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
John-Gizzi
Older Coloradans, and conservatives in general, responded to the Gorsuch name by recalling the nominee's late mother Anne Gorsuch Burford, who was President Ronald Reagan's ever-controversial Environmental Protection Administrator.
judge, Neil Gorsuch, EPA, environment
445
2017-52-31
Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 10:52 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved