A Daily Beast Exclusive
During Neil Gorsuch’s time at his beloved Phi Gamma Delta, former members and fellow students accused the frat of degrading women and spiking the punch.
By Brandy Zadrozny
President Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee, Neil M. Gorsuch, reveled in his identity as an outsider at Columbia University. Through prolific college writings—which will undoubtedly be referred to during this week’s Senate confirmation hearings—the undergraduate became the voice of a swelling ’80s conservative movement, often sounding a lone moderate note for open debate and individualism as he was pitted against what he perceived as a tide of “superficial” campus progressives.
He also really liked his frat.
Following President Trump’s January announcement nominating Gorsuch, the national press revived the 49-year-old’s college essays and editorials in the interest of exploring the past adventures and misadventures of the man who would be Antonin Scalia’s successor. In at least 19 columns published in the Daily Spectator, Columbia’s student-run newspaper, and The Federalist Paper, a conservative broadsheet that Gorsuch co-founded, the future federal appellate judge wrote sneering takedowns of liberal students on campus and their causes. He also argued for what he saw as unpopular beliefs at the time, including university investments in apartheid South Africa, on-campus military recruitment, a pro-Reagan stance in the Iran-Contra affair, and consistently, for Columbia’s all-male fraternities.
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