Letters to the Editor

AG says he’s not motivated by politics but his own words show otherwise

Dear Editor,

In a recent debate hosted by CU and DU law schools, Attorney General John Suthers defended “his practice of filing amicus briefs in support of one side or another in lawsuits not involving Colorado.”

This appears to be inconsistent with what he believes to be the proper role of an attorney general as a public policy maker as described in his book, “No Higher Calling, No Greater Responsibility; a Prosecutor Makes His Case.”

“I don’t believe it is appropriate,” he writes, “for attorneys general to pursue consumer protection or environmental protection litigation that ... represent the attorney general’s personal view of what constitutes the public interest.”

Yet, in 2009 it was his public interest view that led him to join a “cadre of Republican state attorneys general” in contesting Nebraska’s exemption from higher Medicaid costs. On another occasion it was his public interest view that led him to join a case to show support for “a Nebraska law defining marriage as only between a man and a woman.” Now it is his public interest view that Colorado join the challenge of the individual mandate for insurance coverage included in the health care overhaul.

Stan Garnett, Boulder’s DA who is challenging Suthers, will not be motivated by partisan reasons, as is the incumbent, in joining such actions.

Bill Thiebaut
Pueblo District Attorney