WASHINGTON — High school friends of Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch have written a letter to lawmakers speaking to his character.
Gorsuch graduated with the Class of 1985 from Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, where he lived with William J. Hughes Jr., who helped organize the open letter 59 classmates signed and sent to lawmakers.
“We thought it was important for us to show support for Neil, and so a core group of us got together, we floated it to others, and they thought it was a great idea,” Hughes said.
He and classmate Kevin Stack describe the Columbia University and Harvard Law graduate as a genuinely nice and thoughtful person. Gorsuch clerked for two Supreme Court justices and has served as a federal judge for more than a decade.
But Stack does not find it a surprise that Gorsuch excelled; he was a standout orator in high school speech class.
“While a lot of us regularly shook in terror during these speeches, I recall that Neil was always very calm, eloquent, thoughtful and well-spoken. Honestly, he was obviously a natural speaker,” Stack said.
An attorney in New Jersey, Hughes ran for office as a Democrat in 2014 and speaks to the bipartisan support from his friends.
“I may not always agree with everything Neil does or says — I won’t. But I know one thing: I know he is intellectually honest, that he comes by his opinions free of a partisan agenda or ideology. He has a strictly judicial philosophy,” he said.
Georgetown Prep posted this statement to alumni upon Gorsuch’s nomination:
“We are proud to have a son of Georgetown Preparatory School, a Catholic, Jesuit school founded the same year the United States Supreme Court was established, nominated to the nation’s highest court. All of us at Prep send our prayers and best wishes,” wrote school president Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J.