Back to Index

The US Supreme Court: The Federalist Society

Cameron Sawyer is ruffled by my comparing the Federalist Society with the Masons and Yale's Skull and Bones Society. The comparison meant simply that some people view them as the secret government of the US-. Cameron says: "For goodness sakes, the Federalist Society doesn't even have a membership committee; it is about as different from Skull and Bones as it could be. The Federalist Society is loosely organized, totally non-selective, non-secretive, and has no power whatsoever. Whatever weight it may have is from a certain prestige which comes from the quality of the intellectual discourse within it. It has certain similarities to WAIS, actually. But don t believe me, here is what others say about it:

It is a great pleasure for me to be in front of the Federalist Society. I am a tremendous admirer of this organization. I agree completely that it has served an enormously valuable function, in getting the debate going about the meaning of the constitution. The fact that there are two sides to the debate is evidenced by my presence here, today, but your contribution to stimulating a debate, to getting us on the other side to think more clearly about our issues, and to presenting to the American public issues&has performed an enormously useful function. -Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law School

First, I have to start by thanking the Federalist Society for inviting me here. I've done a lot of academic conferences in my career, and I always find the Federalist Society the most enjoyable because the Federalist Society is the organization that is least afraid of inviting people whom they know seriously disagree with them. -Professor William Marshall, Northwestern University and Associate White House Counsel under President Bill Clinton

The Federalist Society has brought to campus the commitment to real, honest, vigorous, and open discussion. It is a result of the works of the Federalist Society to create a wonderful environment for discussing social, political, legal, and constitutional issues. - Dean Paul Brest, Stanford Law School

It has been my pleasure to speak at many Federalist Society gatherings around the country, and I think one thing your organization has definitely done is to contribute to free speech, free debate, and most importantly public understanding of, awareness of, and appreciation of the Constitution. So that's a marvelous contribution, and&in a way I must say I'm jealous at how the Federalist Society has thrived at law schools. I'm delighted, as always, to be speaking before a Federalist Society audience. I take every opportunity to accept your speaking invitations. I always feel so at home, and I love reminding folks who may not remember this, among your founding principles is that the State exists to preserve freedom. It reminds me very much of another organization that's near and dear to me. Nadine Strossen, President, ACLU


Ronald Hilton - 9/10/02