Monday, August 01, 2005

Front page New York Times news article on the Federalist Society and David Horowitz comments

Debating the Subtle Sway of the Federalist Society

From the New York Times:

  • Yet down the hall from Mr. Meyer's office, a vacated desk testified to the more activist role that members often play. It belonged to Leonard A. Leo, the executive vice president, who doubles as the head of Catholic outreach for the Republican Party and who has taken a leave of absence to help Judge Roberts win confirmation.

  • Mr. Meyer also said he had benefited from news media training by Creative Response Concepts. That is the public relations firm that represented Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group whose advertisements in last year's presidential campaign attacked the war record of Senator John Kerry, the Democratic nominee.

  • In the early days of the Bush presidency, administration officials said about a quarter of their judicial nominees were recommended by the Washington headquarters of the society.

  • According to the Senate Judiciary Committee, 15 of the 41 appeals court judges confirmed under Mr. Bush have identified themselves as members of the group.

  • "It becomes something of a secret society," he [federal appeals court judge and former dean of Yale Law School Guido Calabresi] said. "The conversation becomes a conversation among people who already know what they're going to say."

David Horowitz takes issue with the New York Times.

From David Horowitz:

  • The Federalist Society is no more conservative than the American Bar Association is left. Or to put it accurately, the Federalist Society is somewhat less conservative than the American Bar Association is left. And it is far less activist.

  • Imagine if conservatives had made Ruth Bader-Ginsburg's leadership role in the ACLU an issue, or her member of the American Bar Association. Or if they had pointed out that WeatherUnderground terrorist Bernardine Dohrn, for example, sits on august committees and advisory boards of both organizations. If conservatives did that, a hue and cry would go up from the editorial rooms of the Times and the rest of the leftwing media. MCCARTHYISM! WITCH-HUNT! Which is why conservatives don't do it.