Report: Trump’s SCOTUS pick Gorsuch founded ‘Fascism’ club in high school

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, in the 1980s started a group called the “Fascism Forever Club” to spite his liberal high school teachers, a British tabloid reported.

Gorsuch, 49, was president of the club until he graduated in 1985, Georgetown Prep, his alma mater in Bethesda, Maryland, according to a report Thursday by the Daily Mail.

The report was based on the Daily Mail’s looking into the yearbook of the school of the man who Trump this week named as his nomination to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Daily Mail quoted a text they found in school records by the club, praising, “Our tireless President Gorsuch” of the “‘Fascism Forever Club’ [which] happily jerked its knees against the increasingly ‘left-wing’ tendencies of the faculty.” The faculty that Gorsuch sought to irk were Jesuits, according to the same report.

The yearbook showed Gorsuch reading William F. Buckley’s 1959 book “Up from Liberalism.”

The nomination on Tuesday of Gorsuch, a federal judge known to favor protections of religious belief in the public square and for business owners, split the organized Jewish community, with the Reform movement expressing concerns and an Orthodox Union official describing his record as “encouraging.”

Among his opinions most attracting Jewish interest was Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby in 2013, when the appeals court upheld the right of a private business to reject the government mandate to provide contraceptive care under employee health plans. The Obama administration had offered leeway on such coverage to faith-based nonprofits but would not extend them to private businesses.

Gorsuch joined the majority in the appeals court ruling, which was upheld the next year by the U.S. Supreme Court. Liberal Jewish groups backed the government in the case. Orthodox Jewish groups favored Hobby Lobby, arguing for expansive allowances for consideration of religious beliefs by business owners.

Gorsuch has also favored displays of crosses on public lands, and has tended in his rulings toward the rights of gun owners, in favor of the death penalty and against abortion rights.