Judges told to avoid conservative Federalist Society, but liberal American Bar Association deemed okay

(Fox News video screenshot/Supreme Court photos)

The 38-year-old Federalist Society reportedly faces “cancellation” of sorts from the federal judiciary’s Committee on Codes of Conduct.

The committee is tasked with publishing “formal advisory opinions on ethical issues that are frequently raised or have broad application.”

Released sometime this month, the committee’s latest draft opinion discourages federal judges from joining either the conservative-leaning Federalist Society or the left-wing American Constitution Society.

Never mind that Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas are reportedly members of the society.

“Official affiliation with either organization could convey to a reasonable person that the affiliated judge endorses the views and particular ideological perspectives advocated by the organization; call into question the affiliated judge’s impartiality on subjects as to which the organization has taken a position; and generally frustrate the public’s trust in the integrity and independence of the judiciary,” the opinion states.

View it below:

Committee on Codes of Condu… by V Saxena on Scribd

What’s odd, according to critics, is that the Committee on Codes of Conduct has carved out an exception for the American Bar Association7, a demonstrably left-wing organization.

“But they create this huge carve-out for the American Bar Association, which, while it claims to be neutral, is actually incredibly liberal,” Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network explained Saturday morning on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”

“And that own opinion even acknowledges they take positions on so many issues and they’re all progressive liberal outcomes that they’re looking for.”

She added that the ABA acts in a far more partisan manner than the Federalist Society.

“They [members of the Federalist Society] don’t advocate for legislation,” she said. “They don’t file amicus briefs. They are very careful not to hold positions on specific controversial issues. It’s so funny because the American Bar Association does all of those things. They actually have a lobbying shop.”

Fact-check: TRUE.

The ABA openly advocates for abortions, for gun control, and for marijuana legalization.

Listen to the discussion below (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):


(Source: Fox News)

When asked to theorize why the committee is coming after the Federalist Society, Severino pointed to congressional Democrats.

“Sen. [Sheldon] Whitehouse and others on the left are angry at the Federalist Society,” she explained. “They see the success with which this group has promoted originalism and a constitutional view of government. That’s actually not something that’s right or left. That’s saying we read the law and the Constitution as they’re written.”

“But it’s a threat to the liberal dominance of the court, which used to just kind of say, well, we do what the liberal outcome is regardless of the law, and we’ll just make up the law as we go. That’s something the Federalist Society has stood against.”

Severino isn’t alone in her complaints.

The Wall Street Journal’s entire editorial board has labeled the committee’s opinion “political mischief masked in high-sounding rhetoric.”

“The success of the Federalist Society in developing an alternative network to the liberals who dominate law schools has made it a favorite target of Democrats and the left,” the board wrote last week. “A political campaign has been running for months to stigmatize the Federalist Society as too political for judicial participation.”

And the campaign has been carried out not only by liberal Democrats but also their demonstrably partisan media allies at The Washington Post, at Politico, at Slate, etc.

The board further noted that the equivalency drawn between the Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society is patently false.

“The ACS takes positions on issues and judicial nominees and it files amicus briefs,” the board noted. “The Federalist Society takes no such positions and in 38 years has never filed an amicus brief to influence a court on a legal controversy. Its main function is educational, and it often invites liberals to debate conservatives.”

The ACS is in many regards no different than the ABA. So why was it included?

“The American Constitution Society is in that draft opinion as a sacrificial lamb so that it’s not just the Federalist Society that looks like it’s being targeted,” an anonymous Federalist Society member theorized to Bloomberg last week.

Regardless, the Journal’s board continued, the fact remains that the Federalist Society stands as the only barrier to a fully politicized, left-wing judiciary.

“Most Federalist Society members lean right, but as distinguished appellate litigator Ted Olson wrote in Politico in September, ‘law school faculties are more monolithically liberal than Federalist Society members are conservative,'” the board wrote.

“The Federalist Society is an alternative to this campus legal conformity. This serves students on the left and right by exposing them to the legal and constitutional views they’ll have to contend with after they graduate.”

And it seems this is how it always works. Wherever a conservative exists, he or she must be ostracized and removed (i.e., silenced) as per the increasingly intolerant dictates of the far-left.

As of late January, however, the opinion was only an “exposure draft.”

“Nothing in any opinion that we issue as a committee is final until it’s actually published, and it has not been published, it has only been circulated for comment,” committee chair Ralph R. Erickson confirmed to Bloomberg.

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Vivek Saxena

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