John W. Suthers is a lifetime resident of Colorado. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Government in 1974 and from the University of Colorado Law School in 1977. From 1977 to 1981, he served as a deputy and chief deputy district attorney in Colorado Springs. From September of 1979 to January of 1981, he headed the Economic Crime Division of the District Attorney’s Office and co-authored a nationally published book on consumer fraud and white-collar crime.
In January of 1981, Mr. Suthers entered private practice and became a litigation partner in the Colorado Springs firm of Sparks Dix, P.C. He remained with the firm until November of 1988, when he defeated an incumbent to be elected District Attorney of the Fourth Judicial District. He was elected to a second term as District Attorney in November of 1992. At the conclusion of that second term in January of 1997, he returned to Sparks Dix, P.C. as Senior Counsel in charge of the firm’s litigation section.
On January 12, 1999, Gov. Bill Owens appointed Mr. Suthers as the executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections. As head of the Colorado correctional system, he was in charge of an organization with nearly 6,000 employees and an annual operational budget of approximately $500 million.
On July 30, 2001, Mr. Suthers was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the United States Attorney for the District of Colorado. He was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Suthers represented the United States in all criminal and civil matters within the District of Colorado.
On January 4, 2005, Mr. Suthers was appointed Attorney General of Colorado. After serving as Attorney General for nearly two years, in November 2006, the voters of Colorado elected Mr. Suthers by a large margin to serve a four-year term. Mr. Suthers was again re-elected in 2010 by the biggest margin or any statewide race that year. As Attorney General, he represents and defends the interests of the people of the state of Colorado and is chief legal counsel and adviser to state government and its many state agencies, boards and commissions.
Mr. Suthers has served on the board of numerous civic organizations. He has served as President of the El Paso County Bar Association in 1990-91 and as Senior Vice President of the Colorado Bar Association in 1996-97. He served as President of the Colorado District Attorney’s Council in 1994-95. In 1992, he was appointed by the Colorado legislature to serve as a Colorado delegate to the National Conference on Uniform State Laws and served until January of 1997. In the Summer of 2000, Mr. Suthers received a Gates Foundation Fellowship to attend the Government Executives Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
John and his wife Janet have two adult daughters. Alison is a Deputy District Attorney in Denver. Kate is a procurement analyst for the Defense Department in Pearl Harbor and a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves.
Suthers has authored five books, including his most recent, No Higher Calling, No Greater Responsibility: A Prosecutor Makes His Case (Fulcrum Publishing, 2008).
In his tenure as Attorney General, Mr. Suthers has initiated successful programs to protect children from Internet predators and to reduce mortgage and foreclosure fraud. He has served as Chairman of the Conference of Western Attorneys General, a member of the NAAG Executive Committee, Co-Chair of the NAAG Criminal Law Committee and as a member of the U.S. Attorney General’s Executive Working Group.
The Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues. The people listed as Experts have spoken or otherwise participated in Federalist Society events, publications, or multimedia presentations. A person's appearance on this list does not imply any other endorsement or relationship between the person and the Federalist Society. All expressions of opinion by an expert are those of the expert.
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Podcast
April 04, 2014
State Attorney General Project
July 31, 2007