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Federalist Society: who are they?

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posted on Mar, 25 2004 @ 12:05 PM
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While doing research of Spence Abraham, our Secretary of Energy, I came across the fact that he is one of the founders of The Federalist Society. Never having heard of them, I wondered just what they were. Federalist is one of those words I always associate ithe the Founding Fathers and I needed to learn about these guys.
Here's a little about what I found. Any additions or comments are welcome.
_________________
* The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.
* The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities. This entails reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law. It also requires restoring the recognition of the importance of these norms among lawyers, judges, and law professors.
* In working to achieve these goals, the Society has created a conservative and libertarian intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal community.

www.fed-soc.org...

The heavily-funded Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a growing network of law students, alumni and attorneys devoted to the spread of conservative legal principles. The Society, founded by two Yale law school students in the early 1980s, received $1.6 million in grants (from 1992-1994) to support its efforts to transform the legal profession, which it sees as "currently dominated by a form of liberal orthodoxy [advocating] a centralized and uniform society."
www.mediatransparency.org...



When most of us think of conspiracies we picture shady backrooms, high tech espionage, secret societies or religious cabals. Although I admit the possibility of conspiracies I generally consider them to be on a small scale of limited impact, more along the lines of corporate collusion and price fixing. So I was surprised to find a very public organization behaving in a manner consistent with those conspiratorial fears we usually attribute to the lunatic fringe.

In researching an article I recently wrote on Attorney General John Ashcroft, I happened across a reference to the Federalist Society , an organization I had heard mentioned in the popular press, but never really gave much notice. What sparked my interest was Ashcroft"s membership in the group. This led me to investigate and what I found was astonishing.

Founded in 1982 at the Yale and University of Chicago Law schools, it was originally intended as a place where disaffected conservative law students could meet and exchange views on a variety of social and legal issues. However, it wasn't long before conservative elements within the legal establishment, such as Robert Bork and Antonin Scalia, discovered these students and began sponsoring and eventually running the society as a means of vetting their own frustrations with the status quo. According to their own stated purpose "The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians dedicated to reforming the current legal order. We are committed to the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks to promote awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities." The society currently bills itself as a forum for public debate on legal and policy issues as they relate to the US Constitution and claims to further public awareness of their concerns through these forums.

www.therant.info...

The Federalist Society began at Yale Law School in 1982 as a student organization that challenged what it saw as the orthodox liberal ideology found in most law schools. Its members argued that, while some members of the academic community dissented from orthodox views that advocated a centralized and uniform society, by and large those views were taught simultaneously with the law and were presented in academic settings as if they were law.

The Society currently has chapters at 145 law schools in the United States, including all of the top-20-ranked law schools, as well as a parent organization for conservatives and libertarians who are interested in the current state of the legal order, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. In its Statement of Principles, the Society states that it is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to the United States' constitutional form of government, and that the role of the judiciary is to say what the law is, not what the law should be.

en.wikipedia.org...

Activities by the Federalist Society and some of its prominent members on such subjects as congressional authority and civil rights reveal the scope of the changes the group seeks to bring about in America's legal landscape. As its name suggests, the organization warmly embraces its version of the concept of "federalism"-limiting federal authority to areas such as national defense and ceding most powers to states and localities. While many Americans respect the right of state and local governments to make certain decisions, leading members of the Society take federalism to an extreme by seeking to block the ability of the federal government to enact and enforce laws protecting the environment, civil rights, workplace health and safety, and other areas.
www.pfaw.org...


[Edited on 26-3-2004 by DontTreadOnMe]




posted on Mar, 26 2004 @ 11:59 AM
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These Federalists sound like the exact antithesis to the New World Order. I would be just as skeptical of these people as I would those who wished to see the emplacement of a uniform global society.

I am conservative fiscally, but on many issues I am clearly not. For one, I believe that fervent nationalism only breeds animosity between nations and leads to situations conducive to war.

I believe in the ideal vision of global government, but I don't believe it is possible without some great catastrophy befalling the world to make it necessary. I don't like the idea of some socialist strongarm controlling the globe with power and fear, but rather voluntary cooperation of the world and it's peoples.

I would be wary of these new Federalists. They may mean well, but they are outnumbered. In law, that is not a good position, and in it there is a greater chance of political shunting from the opposition.

For those who believe in a Grand Plan by the powers that be for the New World Order inception, I would be especially wary, as people or groups with opposing views have been concieved in the past as a kind of 'fall guy' to further strengthen the plight of their masters.

Personally, I don't believe any of this. I believe that people are generally what they say they are. With the exception of people I meet on the internet, of course.

DeltaChaos



posted on Mar, 28 2004 @ 05:41 AM
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DeltaChaos, you say the "antithesis of the NWO?"

If I may interject, John Negroponte has written for them several times (articles that is), and he is considered a major pawn for the NWO since he is the US Ambassador to the UN.

Im not trying to bash you, but just think these two societies might be interrelated, or the NWO has inflitrated them to keep their agenda in operation



posted on Mar, 28 2004 @ 11:24 AM
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Originally posted by DeltaChaos
For those who believe in a Grand Plan by the powers that be for the New World Order inception, I would be especially wary, as people or groups with opposing views have been concieved in the past as a kind of 'fall guy' to further strengthen the plight of their masters.

Personally, I don't believe any of this. I believe that people are generally what they say they are. With the exception of people I meet on the internet, of course.

At face value, this group seems to be a groups who would like to return our country to the spirit intended by the Founding Fathers.
But, if you believe in NWO and all that it entails, returning the country to the way it was intended would further NWO. The Founding Fathers, bless their Freemason hearts, were aware of the agenda.
I do find it hard to believe that any agenda could go on for hundreds, if not thousands of years, and still not be able to achieve a global government. I cannot tell you why it has not already happened. I suspect that humans, being humans, have always wanting to do things their own way. And so the PLAN has often gone awry. If you believe Hitler was put in power to further the Agenda, and then went off on his own tangent, you could see my point. He put back the Agenda decades: one plan for post-WWII Europe under Hitlet was a unified money. The Euro didn't actually happen until more than 50 years after WWII.
Yikes, I had another point to make, and it just left my brain



posted on Mar, 28 2004 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by slugfast
If I may interject, John Negroponte has written for them several times (articles that is), and he is considered a major pawn for the NWO since he is the US Ambassador to the UN.

How interesting that both Negropointe and Abraham have ites to the Federalist Society.
Makes you wonder how many other Indians there are in this group, on BOTH sides of the aisle!

And, because I never heard them mentioned, I thought I'd as least bring them up. You never know when they could be thrust onto front street. I certainly hate for ATS to be caught unaware


[Edited on 28-3-2004 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Mar, 28 2004 @ 11:49 AM
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Originally posted by slugfast
DeltaChaos, you say the "antithesis of the NWO?"

If I may interject, John Negroponte has written for them several times (articles that is), and he is considered a major pawn for the NWO since he is the US Ambassador to the UN.

Im not trying to bash you, but just think these two societies might be interrelated, or the NWO has inflitrated them to keep their agenda in operation


Right, slugfast, I understand that and I pointed out that possibility. Nearly every group or movement that one would consider "right and just" has at some point had members that were obviously working the other side, or both sides. Intelligence, counter-intelligence, double and double-double agents, it's all standard. Even in the 'evil' movements you will find the unexpected patsy.

What you can expect of every group or movement, no matter what it's purpose, is that it will contain members or 'honorary' attendees from the other side. The reason for this is to secure credibility from both sides of the issue and to dilute the potential for controversy of the group. It's SOP.

Never again be surprised to see someone in a group that doesn't 'seem' to belong there. They certainly do belong there, as they are filling the very important position of Smoke Screen.

DeltaChaos



posted on Mar, 28 2004 @ 03:06 PM
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i find it hard to believe that ashcroft would be a member of this..basicaly taking alot of the power away from the govt and putting back in to the hands of the states...or dothey mean 'state' as it means today from a govt law perspective?? the state being the corporate govt??
law is now run under the 'color-of-law', not the 'rule-of-law'.
very interesting...................................gunna read some more



posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 09:37 AM
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We have a chapter of the Federalist Society at my law school and I have gone to several of their events because they are very interesting. Their mission statement is basically preserving the Constitution and making sure that courts do not overstep their bounds in interpreting the Constitution. They are a very libertarian group. I would not consider then conservative.

One of the programs had to do with the 2nd Amendment. For $10 you could go out to a shooting range and learn how to use a gun, the state laws concerning guns and discuss the issues about the right to keep and bear arms.

Another was a debate on the 14th Amendment and how it has evolved to the most important amendment to hurt civil liberties. Especially with enforcing federal amendments onto the state. They would like to see courts enforce the Constitution word for word instead of interpreting things that are not written into the document.

A good example is the 1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof". It's pretty clear Congress can not regulate religion, but somehow the court has applied this to state's as well. This just shows how activist the court has become.

I don't find it hard that Ashcroft belonged to the organization. Most libertarians and conservatives believe in a stronger state government and a weaker federal government. They believe that the only role the feds should play is to protect our national security, not develop welfare programs, etc.



posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 02:01 PM
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I have an innate distrust of any organization who call themselves "conservative".


Fiat Lvx.

I never dared be radical when young for fear it would make me conservative when old.

- Robert Frost

[edit on 7-7-2004 by Masonic Light]



posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 02:12 PM
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it's a conservative society founded in Yale by Calabresi, David McIntosh and Lee Otis. Spencer Abraham then went on to found a chapter at Harvard. it was initially started during the reagan administration in an attempt to promote the right's view of federalism and counter perceived liberal influence in the legal system (the federalist societies' current view of federalism is a lot different from madisons view, whose silhouette happens to be their logo). Scalia, Hatch, Meese, and Bork are members, to name a few. according to "Courting Disaster", by Martin Garbus, Lawrence Walsh criticized the Bush Sr. administration for not appointing a single federal judge who was not a member of the society to the bench. it's opposite number seems to be the Constitutional Society at law school.

-koji K.

[edit on 7-7-2004 by koji_K]

[edit on 7-7-2004 by koji_K]



posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 07:00 PM
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Actually, the organization in opposition to the Federalist Society is the ACLU. The use of Madison as the emblem and symbol of the Federalist society makes a lot of sense. He authored the Constitution and also proclaimed the same things the Federalist Society does. That courts must use the Constitution to interpret the laws, not use opinion to interpret the Constitution and thus interpret the laws.



posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by slickwilly95991
Actually, the organization in opposition to the Federalist Society is the ACLU.


lol, I've been a card-carrying member of the ACLU since college.



The use of Madison as the emblem and symbol of the Federalist society makes a lot of sense. He authored the Constitution and also proclaimed the same things the Federalist Society does. That courts must use the Constitution to interpret the laws, not use opinion to interpret the Constitution and thus interpret the laws.


Madison and Hamilton's Federalists called for a strong federal government. Conservatives oppose this, at least in theory, although in practice they display the tendency to consolidate power at the federal level.

As for your last comment: as a law student, you are no doubt aware that the official document issued explaining a court ruling is called an Opinion. Justices who disagree with the ruling may issue a Dissenting Opinion.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 10:34 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light

Originally posted by slickwilly95991
Actually, the organization in opposition to the Federalist Society is the ACLU.


lol, I've been a card-carrying member of the ACLU since college.



The use of Madison as the emblem and symbol of the Federalist society makes a lot of sense. He authored the Constitution and also proclaimed the same things the Federalist Society does. That courts must use the Constitution to interpret the laws, not use opinion to interpret the Constitution and thus interpret the laws.


Madison and Hamilton's Federalists called for a strong federal government. Conservatives oppose this, at least in theory, although in practice they display the tendency to consolidate power at the federal level.

As for your last comment: as a law student, you are no doubt aware that the official document issued explaining a court ruling is called an Opinion. Justices who disagree with the ruling may issue a Dissenting Opinion.

Fiat Lvx.


I'm sorry you're a member of the ACLU (Anti-Civil Liberties Union). I could not be a part of an organiztion that only chooses certain liberties to protect, while destorying others.

As for the comment about majority court opinions and dissenting opinions? What does that have to do with anything concerning the Federalist Society? Obviously when a court is activist, the majority opinion is usually written by the more liberal justices, while the constrained courts (those who interpret the Constitution for what it says and not what it doesn't) are usually the conservative or libertarian justices.

I suggest you read the Federalist Papers written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay (1st Supreme Court Chief Justice). They were written to get the public to realize the advantages of the Constitution. They wanted the federal government to have just enough power to get the Union to work, as obviously the weak confederacy didn't work. I suggest you read #46 (State and Federal Powers Compared), #24 (Provide for the Common Defense), and #78-82 (About the courts) I think you will see this view is very strong central government, stronger state government and that this view is exactly what the Federalist Society represents.

Someone used Judge Bork, who it's a shame did not become a Justice, because he is a strict Constitutionalist and you can't really say someone who is a strict Constitutionalist can be conservative, because Conservative justices tend to give more power to the executive, while Liberal justices give more power to the Judiciary. A Strict Constitutionalist does neither, because to do so would destroy the basic tenet of the Constitution and the Federalist Papers #47 & 48, the Separation of Powers.

[edit on 7-7-2004 by slickwilly95991]



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by slickwilly95991
I'm sorry you're a member of the ACLU (Anti-Civil Liberties Union). I could not be a part of an organiztion that only chooses certain liberties to protect, while destorying others.


The ACLU is the primary citizens' defense organization against civil liberty violations by the state, and is the defender of the First Amendment.
www.aclu.org...


As for the comment about majority court opinions and dissenting opinions? What does that have to do with anything concerning the Federalist Society?


That was in response to your criticism of the Court issuing "opinions". That is, after all, what they're there for.


I suggest you read the Federalist Papers written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay (1st Supreme Court Chief Justice).


I am familiar with the Federalist Papers and other Founding Documents. As you are probably aware, the Federalist Papers are often consulted by the Courts to ascertain original intent.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 11:30 AM
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I hardly call a state prohibition on child porn a violation of the 1st Amendment. Why does the ACLU defend a guy who molests little children or organizations, such as NAMBLA which do the same, and call it a right to believe it is okay to sexually abuse children and act out those beliefs, those who can't protect themselves.

Why does the ACLU defend homosexuals to marry, but not polygamists? Is it because there is a societal morality that can choose what is appropriate for society?

Don't get me wrong, I believe if the people of the state, or their representatives, deem same-sex marriages are valid public policy, that's fine, however courts should not be able to push an agenda and create rights from the Constitution that are not explicitly there. The courts have already determined there is a right to marry (Loving), if a court determines what form of marriage is allowed and not the legislature, then all forms of sexual relations could be considered a viable marital relationship (inlcuding polygamy).

The Federalist Society protects the 1st Amendment, and the 2nd Amendment and all other fundamental rights and does so through the Constitution of the US.

quote: As for the comment about majority court opinions and dissenting opinions? What does that have to do with anything concerning the Federalist Society?

That was in response to your criticism of the Court issuing "opinions". That is, after all, what they're there for

My criticism of court opinions had to do with activist courts not applying the US Constitution.

You may want to re-read your copy of the Federalist Papers and a history book on what was going on in American history at the time of Constitution's founding. I think you will realize that conservatives are more closely related to the federalists than the democrats of today.



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by slickwilly95991
I hardly call a state prohibition on child porn a violation of the 1st Amendment. Why does the ACLU defend a guy who molests little children or organizations, such as NAMBLA which do the same, and call it a right to believe it is okay to sexually abuse children and act out those beliefs, those who can't protect themselves.


For the record, I personally disagree with some of the ACLU’s activists on the NAMBLA issue, and many ACLU activists agree with me. I do not consider their pedophilic propaganda to be protected speech. I also disagreed with the ACLU’s defense of the American Nazi Party to hold a rally in Illinois, the Nazis being an organization that are diametrically opposed to the ideals of civil liberties.
On the other hand, I agree with the maxim that one can measure his true belief in freedom by self-introspection only, i.e., defending the rights of those we disagree with. Even the Maoists, Stalinists, and Fascists defended the rights of speech for those whom they agreed with. It was disagreement that was not tolerated.
This presents a philosophical slippery slope, and I can speak only for myself, not on behalf of ACLU. But we must be very careful concerning the issue of censorship. Once we begin censoring those with whom we disagree, we have established a precedent for others to do the same to us.


Why does the ACLU defend homosexuals to marry, but not polygamists? Is it because there is a societal morality that can choose what is appropriate for society?


Again, I cannot speak for the entire ACLU, but I can give my personal opinion. Polygamy is traditional linked with exploitation of females, and women who are involved in polygamous relationships in the US generally come from backgrounds where they have little or no freedom of choice in the matter. However, if a group of consenting adults freely choose to engage in such a relationship, they may do so, but have forfeited the legal protection of marriage.
But preventing legal protection of homosexuals is discriminatory. The polygamist is free to marry one of his concubines, and therefore enter into a legal contract. Monogamous homosexuals are denied this right.



Don't get me wrong, I believe if the people of the state, or their representatives, deem same-sex marriages are valid public policy, that's fine, however courts should not be able to push an agenda and create rights from the Constitution that are not explicitly there. The courts have already determined there is a right to marry (Loving), if a court determines what form of marriage is allowed and not the legislature, then all forms of sexual relations could be considered a viable marital relationship (inlcuding polygamy).


Much of the Constitution was left ambiguous on purpose. This was done to allow it to adapt to the changing times. I understand your concern about legislation, but judicial review is an important check and balance, protecting minorities from the “tyranny of the majority”.


You may want to re-read your copy of the Federalist Papers and a history book on what was going on in American history at the time of Constitution's founding. I think you will realize that conservatives are more closely related to the federalists than the democrats of today.


Neither Hamilton and Alexander’s Federalists, nor Jeffersonian Liberals, can be compared with the situation of today. They give us a starting point, but so much has changed, not all of their views are now applicable.

For example, the Industrial Revolution changed political science forever. It created a system of social stratification that was unwieldy to the point of collapse (or revolution, if you believe Marx, Proudhon, and Kropotkin).
At this time, Liberals were forced to concede their Jeffersonian ideals of complete laissez-faire could not be applied to modern economics, and adopted aspects of democratic socialism. The Conservatives who rose to combat the new strain of liberalism were as different from Burke, the Federalists, and the Tories, as were the New Deal Liberals from Jefferson and Franklin. Their core efforts were in maintaining the status quo in a class-divided society, rather than focusing on pure constitutionalism.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jul, 8 2004 @ 04:58 PM
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Originally posted by DontTreadOnMe
He put back the Agenda decades: one plan for post-WWII Europe under Hitlet was a unified money. The Euro didn't actually happen until more than 50 years after WWII.
Yikes, I had another point to make, and it just left my brain


Some would argue that WWII was very beneficial for a global agenda. Out of WWII we got the U.N. There was also more governmental control over U.S. citizens after the war. The IRS was supposed to be a temporary organization for a short while. The sales tax was supposed to only last the duration of the war. On top of those few examples the CIA was established after the war.



posted on Oct, 6 2004 @ 12:44 AM
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listen...I'm a law student at a university that has a Federalist Society branch....these guys are pretty much just some harmless intellectual types that like to sit around and talk politics- there is nothing secret about the society, its really no big deal



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