Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies

Established: 1982 by a group of right-wing law students President/Executive Director: Eugene Meyer
Board of Directors: National Co-Chairmen Prof. Steven Calabresi and David M. MacIntosh, Directors Prof. Gary Lawson, and Eugene B. Meyer, Hon. T. Kenneth Cribb (President of Collegiate Network), and Mr. Brent O. Hatch, treasurer.
Membership: The FS Lawyers Division has 25,000 legal professionals; Student Division has more than 5,000 law students at 145 law schools; 60 metropolitan lawyers' chapters; 15 nationwide practice groups; and a new Faculty Division with unpublished membership numbers.
Finances: $5,450,536 (total revenue for 2004)
Grants: Since 1985, The Federalist Society has received over $12 million in grants from conservative foundations, such as the Earhart, Bradley, Simon, and Olin Foundations, as well as the Carthage, Koch, and Scaife Foundations.
Publications: Several e-mail newsletters on different topics, a quarterly law journal, a "Conservative and Libertarian Pre-Law Reading List," and various reports on legal issues.

Read the latest news on the Federalist Society on the group's Right Wing Watch index page

Principal Issues

  • The Federalist Society hopes to transform the American legal system by developing and promoting far-right positions and influencing who will become judges, top government officials, and decision-makers. FS is "dedicated to reforming the current legal order."
  • The Federalist Society is a well established network of right-wing lawyers, politicians, pundits, and judges.
    Many members of the Federalist Society advocate a rollback of civil rights measures, reproductive choice, labor and employment regulations, and environmental protections.
    In Federalist Society's guide to forming and running a chapter of the society, FS says it "creates an informal network of people with shared views which can provide assistance in job placement."
  • The Federalist Society has 15 different "practice groups" that focus on particular legal issues, such as civil rights and labor and employment law.
  • Read PFAW Foundation's detailed report, The Federalist Society: From Obscurity to Power [PDF file].

Federalist Society Members in the Bush Administration [partial list]

  • Former Attorney General John Ashcroft
  • Former Secretary of the Department of Energy Spencer Abraham
  • Secretary of the Department of Interior Gale Norton
  • Former Solicitor of Labor Eugene Scalia (Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's son)
  • Former General Counsel of the Department of Education Brian Jones
  • Former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson
  • Former Solicitor General Ted Olson
  • Former Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy Viet Dinh
  • Inspector General of Department of Defense Joseph E. Schmitz
  • Former Asst. Attorney General for Environment and Natural Resources Thomas L. Sansonetti
  • Former Principal Deputy Solicitor General Paul Clement [Currently Solicitor General]
  • Former Associate Deputy Attorney General and former Director of the Federal Trade Commission's Office of Policy Planning R. Ted Cruz
  • Former Director of National Institute of Justice Sarah V. Hart
  • Former Associate White House Counsel Bradford Berenson
  • Former Associate White House Counsel Noel Francisco

Federal Judicial Nominees

  • Samuel Alito, confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court
  • John Roberts, confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Janice Rogers Brown, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
  • Miguel Estrada, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [withdrawn]
  • Brett Kavanaugh, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit
  • D. Brooks Smith, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Michael Chertoff, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, currently Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security
  • William Haynes, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Edith Brown Clement, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Priscilla R. Owen, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • Henry Saad, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [withdrawn]
  • Susan Neilson, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Deborah Cook, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Jeffrey Sutton, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • David W. McKeague, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • Diane Sykes, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • Steven Collonton, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • Raymond Gruender, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • Carlos Bea, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Carolyn B. Kuhl, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [withdrawn]
  • Jay Bybee, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Harris L. Hartz, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • Michael McConnell, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • Timothy M. Tymkovich, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • William Pryor, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • Thomas B. Griffith, confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit

Other High-Profile Federalist Society Members [partial list]

  • Justice Antonin Scalia, U.S. Supreme Court
  • Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)
  • Kenneth Starr, former White House Independent Counsel whose investigation led to President Clinton's impeachment
  • Judge Robert Bork, failed Supreme Court nominee
  • Linda Chavez, President of the Center for Equal Opportunity
  • Charles Murray, controversial author who asserted that some races are inherently less intelligent than others
  • Don Hodel, former Christian Coalition president
  • Michigan Governor John Engler
  • Justice Maura Corrigan, Michican Supreme Court Chief Justice (4 other justices on the state supreme court are also members of the FS)
  • Former Attorney General Don Stenberg, Nebraska
  • Former Attorney General Alan Lance, Idaho

Updated: May 2006