Supremes: what is the Federalist Society?

John G. Roberts (like yesterday's news, Edith Brown Clement) is a member, and the group plays a pivotal role in vetting GWB's picks for the federal bench. Attorney Martin Garbus profiled the Federalist Society in the March 2003 issue of the American Prospect:

Federalist Society publications, strategy sessions and panel discussions attack cases that would place individual rights above property rights, agencies that regulate business, and judges who seek to expand federal civil-rights laws and gender-equality protections. The society is very strategic and has an extensive friends and enemies list. But it does not litigate. Other right-wing legal groups -- the Institute for Justice, the Washington Legal Foundation, the Center for Individual Rights and the Pacific Legal Foundation -- do that on its behalf. A proliferation of religious-right litigation has also built a strategic litigation capacity. The Federalists work hard to keep disparate groups, often with conflicting agendas, under the same roof.

Federalists promote "school choice" and "charitable choice" (church involvement in state efforts to reform welfare), as well as creationist teachings and the distribution of religious materials in public schools. At the same time, they sponsor 15 practice groups in separate areas -- including religious liberty, national security, cyberspace, corporations law and environmental law -- to help shape Federalist policy and promote the right-wing revisionist agenda throughout the country.

Read the Garbus article. The Federalist Society website. Wikipedia's Federalist Society page.

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