Mainstream Media Spreads False Claims about Trump Supreme Court Pick

Portrait of the nominee as an Early Conservative. (Image: Georgetown Prep yearbook via Daily Mail)

It’s depressing to see how ideological confirmation bias can make people believe obviously false claims, even when they have been debunked, and are contradicted by first-hand information and news reports.

A handful of mostly left-leaning journalists at publications like Salon and The Forward repeated a British tabloid’s wild claim that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch started a “fascism forever club” in high school. This bizarre smear of Gorsuch was debunked by Snopes.  It was also debunked by teachers at his school, as liberal-leaning America Magazine noted. And it was also debunked by a lawyer in the National Review.

Neil Gorsuch is a well-respected judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he has been a judge for more than 10 years, without a hint of scandal.  He was unanimously confirmed to the Tenth Circuit by a bipartisan vote, even as other, controversial judges faced filibusters. Nothing in Gorsuch’s judicial opinions or writings is in any way radical, nor does he have a history of saying  radical things.  (Even lawyers like Radley Balko who detest President Trump think that Gorsuch is a well-qualified, judicious, and reasonable man who should be confirmed).

So there was no reason to believe this bizarre claim even before Snopes debunked it…

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