Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Two American Constitution Society Leaders Support Gorsuch

From 1995 to 2005, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch practiced law at the elite D.C. law firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel. Here’s a powerful letter from dozens of his former law partners, “Democrats, independents, and Republicans” who “represent a broad spectrum of views on politics [and] judicial philosophy” but who “all agree on one thing”: Neil Gorsuch “is superbly qualified” for the Supreme Court and “is a man of character, decency, and accomplishment.”

Notable among the letter’s signatories are two individuals who are part of the “leadership” of  the American Constitution Society (the left-wing counterpart to the Federalist Society)​: David Frederick, a member of ACS’s board of directors, and Geoffrey Klineberg, a former Blackmun clerk who is on ACS’s board of advisors (and was formerly on its board of directors).

Some further excerpts from the letter:

Throughout his time with us, Neil demonstrated both a powerful intellect and a sterling character. In every aspect of his private practice, Neil excelled. He was a skilled and creative trial lawyer, a legal draftsman of concision and wit, and above all else a wonderful colleague who devoted himself fully to the best interests of our clients and was a pleasure to work with.

We saw Neil in times of professional triumph as well as in times of disappointment. Through highs and lows he was steadfast: courteous, collegial with co-counsel and adversaries, respectful of courts and the rule of law itself. He was as considerate and respectful of the night guard at our trial office in Paducah, Kentucky, as he was of captains of industry. He never displayed bias or hostility against anyone, and earned friends and admirers wherever he went.

Neil’s equal regard for everyone extended to his work as a litigator. He zealously represented all of his clients – plaintiffs and defendants, individuals and corporations, nonprofits and small businesses, paying clients and pro bono clients – without regard to ideology. For Neil, each client deserved the best arguments that could be mustered, consistent with the facts and the law.…

Neil is not only a good and humble man, he is also an outstanding jurist. We are fully confident that he will decide cases on principled grounds; that he will work tirelessly to get each case right, on its particular merits; that he will be thoughtful about the views of his colleagues, and will deliberate respectfully and productively to reach consensus where that is possible; and that he will demonstrate the integrity and ability that we all saw in our years as his colleagues.