Donald Trump used the last day of January to announce that Judge Neil Gorsuch is his nominee for the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the late Antonin Scalia. And right on time, the skeletons in Gorsuch's closet are being revealed to the world. Just one day later, on Feb. 1, London's Daily Mail reported that Gorsuch started a club called "Fascism Forever" while he was a student at Georgetown Preparatory school in Washington, D.C., in the 1980s. And, understandably, many are finding the news troubling.
But Trump may not be one of those people. Announcing his pick from the White House's East Room, the new president hailed Gorsuch's legal experience and academic credentials, saying, "Brilliance being assured, I studied every aspect of his life."
If, over the course of his thorough background check, Trump came across Gorsuch's high school extracurricular club, "Fascism Forever" was not enough to rule the judge out from having a seat on the highest court in the country. According to the Daily Mail, Gorsuch reportedly started the student group as a freshman at the elite, all-boys prep school and served as its president until he graduated in 1985. The newspaper also reports that yearbook describes the group as "an anti-faculty student group that battled against the 'liberal' views of the school administration."
After high school, Gorsuch went on to earn his B.A. from Columbia University, his J.D. from Harvard Law, and his Ph.D. from University College, Oxford. He has had a long and successful career in law, most recently serving as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Upon accepting Trump's nomination at the announcement, Gorsuch expressed his gratitude for the opportunity, saying, "Standing here in a house of history, and acutely aware of my own imperfections, I pledge that if I am confirmed I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great country."
He and Trump have yet to respond to the Daily Mail's report, but that hasn't stopped others from weighing in. Some do not see news of the club as serious, chalking it up to youthful insolence. Others see it as evidence that Gorsuch is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court.
As Gorsuch prepares for his Senate confirmation hearing in the coming weeks, no doubt more information from the 49-year-old's past will be revealed and disseminated. No telling yet how news of his "Fascism Forever" club will affect his chances at the spot, but ultimately his reputation and work throughout his legal career will take precedence over his high school activities. Still, it will be interesting to see what he has to say about it.