Friday, July 29, 2005

Federalist Society and John Roberts

I have not, to date, done a whole lot or research on John Roberts and whether I feel that he is qualified to be a member of the Supreme Court. Whether I actually succeed in making time to do that I can't say, but I kept seeing references to Judge Roberts being a member of the Federalist Society and decided to investigate a little bit as I had never heard of this group before, at least not that I remember. All that having been said I took a few minutes to do that this afternoon and, before I read their purpose, thought the concept of the organization seemed like a good idea. They seemed, from the first couple of things I read, to be sort of an ACLU for lawyers. A group dedicated to making America safe for all Americans. Then I read the following (Original will be in blue my comments in black.)

Law schools and the legal profession are currently strongly dominated by a form of orthodox liberal ideology which advocates a centralized and uniform society. While some members of the academic community have dissented from these views, by and large they are taught simultaneously with (and indeed as if they were) the law.

I found this to be a very strange view. That the liberal ideology was to advocate a centralized and uniform society. It seems to me the 'liberal ideology' as it is generally defined by 'conservatives' is to change to society to allow 'every freak' to do what they want. I believe it is the 'conservative' movement in this country that is trying to set a defined definition of marriage, trying to say that if you have a different position on an issue from them you are just wrong and un-American. Additionally it seems to me that the term 'orthodox liberal ideology' is an oxymoron.

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.

I don't really see much of a problem with this 'ideal.' What I think is interesting though is that they state that they exist to preserve freedom and the separation of governmental powers, does any person with a legitimate interest in the health and wellfare of the country truly believe that freedom shouldn't be preserved or that the separate branches of government are not a good idea. I think this state, while on the face is wonderful, really is nothing more than an attack at a non-existent radical element. Honestly, I don't believe anyone, with the possible exemption of the extreme elements on the Left and Right, have any interest in doing away with freedom or the separation of governmental branches. (I do think that there are people who wouldn't mind this though.)

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.

This is another one that looks just wonderful on the surface. But again, are there really a substantial number of people in this country that are in favor of the removal of individual liberty or the rule of law. Do people the 'conservatives' in this country truly believe that anyone doesn't believe in these ideas. (Though I have my doubts that some of the administration does, with the constantly changing stance on say Karl Rove.) The one thing here that bothers me is the concept of Traditional Values. What exactly constitutes a traditional value. Should we all go back to using outhouses and farming. Raising crops and cattle. Those are 'traditional values' in this country that go back to the founding of the country. Should we re-institute slavery, that also is a 'traditional value,' at least in some parts of the country, that date back far before the founding of the country. Or are these 'traditional values' something much less obvious. Are they the 'Judeo-Christian' morality set that the so-call 'Religious-Right' espouse. If so they have only been a 'tradition' in this country for about 30 years, and even then they do not really reflect anything other than a fundementalist view of the bible. (Or New Testament alone in some cases.)

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.

Really nothing in this one at all.

So what have I learned about the Federalist Society. Not much, but I do know that it is nothing more that a 'Conservative' judicial activist group. (As opposed to a 'Liberal' judicial activist group.) I do believe in a strict interpretation of the Constitution. I just don't believe that people on either side of the political debate really know a strict interpretation truly is. I don't believe that anyone truly can look as the Constitution who has an ideological outlook and not intreprite it through that ideology. (Actually I believe that is true of any information actually.)

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