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Monday, July 25, 2005

Maybe He Can Use the "No, I Was a Token Liberal" Defense

Judd at Think Progress breathlessly reports, "Federalist Society Transcript: John Roberts Was A Member."
The media seems to be having trouble figuring out whether John Roberts was a member of the Federalist Society. Maybe they should just read the transcripts from Federalist Society events. Here's a quote by Elliot Mincberg of PFAW at a Federalist Society event on 9/9/03:
Anybody who honestly believes that people like Miguel Estrada and John Roberts were selected solely because of merit without any view whatsoever about their points of view, their membership in the Federalist Society, other things, I have a bridge I would love to sell them.
No one else on the panel objected to Mincberg's description of Roberts, including Leonard Leo, the Federalist Society’s executive director.
So is being a Fed Soc member enough to hang one, or does one have to have those "points of view" and "other things" as well? I'm having troubling visions of an improbable future in which I am nominated for some high post, and being queried as to whether I am now or have ever been a member of the Federalist Society. Maybe some of the Hollywood Ten were just Communists for the good events and hot guys.

UPDATE: OK, now it's just getting silly --
Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. has repeatedly said that he has no memory of belonging to the Federalist Society, but his name appears in the influential, conservative legal organization's 1997-1998 leadership directory.


Blogger Mike said...

You should not have accepted Think Progress's report as proof that Judge Roberts is a member of the Federalist Society. Their premise is false.

Did Leonard Leo, in failing to object to Elliot Mincberg's characterization of John Roberts, tacitly admit that Roberts was a member? No! Why? Because membership (or not) in the Federalist Society is kept private. Thus, Mr. Leo, by saying nothing, kept with the spirit and letter of the Federalist Society's rules. He was under no duty to correct Mr. Mincberg's fale statement of fact. Indeed, it would have been wrong for Mr. Leo to correct Mr. Mincberg.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Helvidius said...

Yeah, I don't buy it either. He may or may not be a member, but I don't think this inference convinces me.

As to your second point, by the time any of us are appointed to any post, membership of the Federalist Society will be like being a member of the bar. :)

8:03 PM  
Blogger PG said...

The AP (via CNN) seems quite confident that Roberts is indeed a member: "Others on President Bush's reputed short list include Federalist Society members John Roberts and Michael McConnell, both appellate court justices."

I hadn't realized that membership was kept secret. Are there really blue-state repercussions for Fed Soc members today, as there were for Southern NAACP members in the 1950s?

8:44 AM  
Blogger Jabotinsky said...

I know it's tough showing up at the so-called liberal media-sponsored West Village Halloween ball in an Edmund Burke costume, but let's not get carried away and compare the troubles of Federalists to those of civil rights workers in the bad old days.

4:39 PM  
Blogger PG said...

Dammit, you didn't take the bait to talk about how conservatives are discriminated against.

Ah well, at least now I belong to treasonous organizations on both sides of the aisle; how many FedSoc folks also are card-carrying members of Amnesty Int'l?

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a lot of us are off the beaten path. By making a big deal about whether or not he belonged to the organization, we are tacitly admitting that there is a problem with that membership.

There are several current and past members of Congress, along with members of the federal judicary, who are members of the Federalist Society. The reason the left is trying to make the "ultra-right Federalist Society" (as one column referred to it), into something evil and unacceptable, is because they know nearly all conservative jurists, especially young ones, are or were associated with the organization.

If they successfully brand the Federalists as judicial misfits, then we are placed in a situation, where almost all conservative jurists are instantly unacceptable.

2:36 PM  

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