Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Neil Gorsuch, founded a “Fascism Forever” club in high school, which has caused many people to pay more attention to the Supreme Court nominee. Trump announced Gorsuch’s nomination on February 1, a controversial demonstration after Trump’s tumultuous first two weeks in office.
According to the Daily Mail, Gorsuch formed the “Fascism Forever Club” in opposition to the left-leaning faculty of Georgetown Preparatory, his elite Washington, D.C. boy’s prep school. The “Fascism Forever Club” postured itself as an anti-faculty reaction to the perceived liberal agenda at Georgetown. Gorsuch formed the “Fascism Forever Club” during his freshman year and remained acting president until he graduated in 1985.
The Daily Mail article reveals a number of questionable things about Trump’s Supreme Court pick, including his “Fascism Forever Club.” Yearbook photos of Gorsuch show the appellate court judge posing with a copy of “Up From Liberalism” by William F. Buckley, Jr., a right-wing must-read. In addition to the “Fascism Forever Club,” Gorsuch was also deemed “President of the Yard,” part of the “Committee to reform the Beast” and co-founder of the “Internal Relations Club.”
Although Gorsuch’s “Fascism Forever Club” can be viewed as a youthful joke on Georgetown staff, the Supreme Court pick didn’t sacrifice his conservative values when he got to college. Gorsuch was the editor and founder of The Federalist Paper at Columbia University. Gorsuch also decided to place a Henry Kissinger quote next to his photo in the college yearbook. The quote reads “The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.”
— Lisa Pease (@lisapease) February 2, 2017
The Kissinger quote is disturbing for anyone who mistrusts Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Trump nominated Gorsuch to replace deceased former Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. If approved, Gorsuch, 49, will be the youngest Supreme Court justice ever appointed. Considering seven of the current justices are over 60-years-old, Gorsuch’s lifelong appointment to the court could be devastating for progressives.
Apparently, the fascist moniker seemed a little too convenient for some social media users. Because Gorsuch is Trump’s Supreme Court pick, there was rumor that the fascism club and the Kissinger quote were fictional, but Snopes conducted an investigation to verify “Fascism Forever Club” claim. The fact-finder website found that the quote and the yearbook images were legitimate.
Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has a history of conservative values. Gorsuch defended Hobby Lobby in the 2013 case, Hobby Lobby Stores v. Sebelius. Gorsuch argued that Hobby Lobby did not have to provide contraception to their employees, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, because it would violate the business’s right to religious freedom.
According to Politico, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has also questioned the validity of a 1984 Supreme Court ruling involving Chevron Oil. The 1984 case concluded that courts should refer to federal agencies to clarify cryptic federal laws.
“Where in all this does a court interpret the law and say what it is? When does a court independently decide what the statute means and whether it has or has not vested a legal right in a person? Where Chevron applies that job seems to have gone extinct,” Gorsuch asked about the 1984 ruling.
Gorsuch’s line of thinking about court rulings indicated his thoughts on deregulation and business-first capitalism. However, Gorsuch isn’t the first one in his family to be nominated for a presidential position. His mother, Anne Gorsuch, was nominated Environmental Protection Agency administrator during the Reagan era. During her 22-month EPA stay, Anne Gorsuch gutted the agency’s budget and tried to repeal the Clean Air Act.
Gorsuch’s tongue-in-cheek usage of the fascism club most likely will not stop him from gaining the Supreme Court seat, however, multiple democrats have called Trump’s pick out “of the mainstream of legal thought” and point to his interests in far-right activists groups.
[Featured Image by Carolyn Kaster/AP Images]