Over 150 Columbia alumni, who identify as “Democrats, Republicans and Independents,” have signed a letter to the leadership of the United States Senate in support of the confirmation of fellow alumnus Neil Gorsuch, CC ’88, to the Supreme Court.
Gorsuch, who served as a columnist for Spectator and founded the satirical newspaper the Federalist during his time at Columbia, was nominated in January by President Donald Trump to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court.
The letter, addressed to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, highlights Gorsuch’s academic achievements and his “commitment to elevating the political discourse on campus.”
Michael Behringer, CC ’89 and an executive at Warburg Pincus, was one of the alumni to spearhead the letter. Behringer said that he and other alumni wanted to show support for the man they met in college while highlighting his “mainstream” political leanings.
“I think the remarkable thing that stood out to me in this process was the great respect that our classmates had for Neil's consistently solid and logical thinking, as well as his respect for differing viewpoints. People remember that vividly to this day,” Behringer said. “It's a testament to the values we all learned at Columbia—of the importance of truly civil discourse. Neil personified that. Sadly, a trait we don't see too much of in Washington today.”
The 154 alumni, from a wide range of career fields, faiths, and socioeconomic backgrounds, are Columbia and Barnard graduates ranging from the classes of 1985 to 1992, who knew Gorsuch during his time at the University and call him “a humble man with no appetite for self-promotion.”
Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee are slated to begin on March 20.