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    There’s no more pretending that religion doesn’t play a role in the ruling that (at least) five conservative justices are readying to overturn Roe. In a democracy founded on the separation of church and state, we’ve got a Supreme Court on the cusp of a decision that cements a theological view of abortion that even most Catholics don’t abide by. All five of the justices who signed onto the draft opinion that would dump Roe (and any ruling associated with it)—plus Chief Justice John Roberts—are progeny of the Federalist Society. Over the past three decades, the legal group’s blessing has become a de facto requirement for Republican presidents who owed their election to white evangelical voters and ran on a promise to deliver an anti-Roe Supreme Court. “Religion is the elephant in the room,” says Amanda Tyler, executive director of Baptist Joint Committee (BJC), a legal advocacy group for religious freedom that doesn't take a position on abortion. “We are all free to be religious or not, but we expect our government to be secular and to rule for...
    Justice Neil Gorsuch is speaking this weekend to the conservative legal group that boosted his Supreme Court candidacy, in a session at a Florida resort that is closed to news coverage. Gorsuch is billed as the banquet speaker Friday at the Florida chapter of the Federalist Society's annual meeting, which is being held at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista. WHO COULD REPLACE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE STEPHEN BREYER? The schedule on the organization's website notes, "The banquet is closed to press." Neither the Federalist Society nor the Supreme Court immediately offered any explanation. The Supreme Court issued mixed rulings Thursday in a pair of cases challenging Biden administration COVID-19 vaccine mandates, allowing the requirement for certain health care workers to go into effect while blocking enforcement of a mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees.   (Associated Press) The two-day meeting also will feature former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, as well as a session billed "The End of Roe v. Wade?" that will be moderated by a federal judge appointed...
    Chip Somodevilla/Getty A student at Stanford Law School is set to graduate despite a serious threat made by the school over a satirical flyer produced that mocked Senator Josh Hawley and the Stanford Federalist Society. In what can best be called a curious misunderstanding of the First Amendment by what many had (previously?) thought to be one of the nation’s top law schools, Stanford threatened to block the graduation of third-year student Nicholas Wallace, after he sent a satirical flyer to a listserv used for debate by classmates. The flyer was a parody listing for an event held by the Federalist Society, a conservative organization for lawyers with a chapter at Stanford Law School. According to Slate, a formal complaint was filed against Wallace by a top Stanford Federalist Society officer, claiming that the piece of satire “defamed” the organization and caused “harm” to its members. Stanford subsequently launched a formal investigation, and Wallace received the complaint against him on his last day of classes, including the threat to block his graduation. But satire is covered by the First Amendment of the...
    More than 150 legal and constitutional scholars – including a co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society – have joined in a letter arguing that President Donald Trump can be impeached despite being out of office. The letter comes as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has spelled out his preferences on a Senate trial for former President Donald Trump, who was impeached in the House just days before the end of his term. They point to the text of the Constitution, precedents, as well as the intentions of the Founders in providing a remedy to stop a 'demagogue' who might seek to overthrow the U.S. government.  President Donald Trump waved to supporters as he arrived at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, on January 20, the last day of his term. His Senate impeachment trial is set to begin within days despite Trump no longer being in office.  Among the signers of the letter is Northwestern University Law Professor Steven Calabresi, a cofounder of the conservative Federalist Society, a group that generated lists of many of the...
    Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images A co-founder of the Federalist Society called Wednesday for the Senate to convict President Donald Trump, arguing that his ability to return to the White House posed a “danger to the nation.” Steven Calabresi, a professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, issued the message in a New York Times op-ed coauthored with Norman Eisen. Eisen served as a special counsel for the House Judiciary Committee during Trump’s first impeachment and as a special assistant for ethics in President Barack Obama’s White House. “We have considerable political differences,” the duo wrote. “But we firmly share a view that should transcend partisan politics: President Trump must be impeached again and tried as soon as possible in the Senate, either before or after Inauguration Day on Jan 20. “Trump’s most egregious impeachable offenses are inciting a violent insurrection against his own vice president, the Senate and the House of Representatives, and pressuring Georgia’s secretary of state to ‘find’ enough votes for him to overturn the legitimate election result there,” they added. Calabresi, a prominent legal scholar whose uncle,...
    Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gave a virtual keynote address at the Federalist Society’s annual convention on Thursday night. His remarks felt more like a Fox News rant segment or a list of grievances at a Trump rally than a typical address by a jurist. Over the 30-plus minutes, Alito railed against the diminishing freedoms of speech and religion, and made a point-blank attack on academia, experts, and COVID-19 restrictions. Alito is delivering the keynote speech at this year’s Federalist Society convention. He’s using the occasion to defend the group, claiming its members face “harassment and retaliation for saying anything that departs from the law school orthodoxy.” https://t.co/pmoQazRIof — Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) November 13, 2020 Alito opened his address with the now-mandatory bad jokes about giving the speech virtually, inviting people to have a drink while listening and warning against throwing tomatoes at the screen. He then moved on to a brief mention of his colleague, Justice Elena Kagan. Kagan, Alito explained, had spoken at a FedSoc event when she was Dean at Harvard. At the time, she...
    Bought and paid for. He must have picked that mahogany shade to cover up the COVID-19 pallor. We're watching a coup unfold, the fruition of decades of time and investment from the super-rich far-right in recreating the Gilded Age in which white men ruled with abandon. They are finally in a position where a Republican president chosen by a minority of voters is aided by a Republican Senate, again elected by a minority of voters, to restructure the entire federal judiciary with the cherry on top—the Supreme Court. They have spared no expense to get there. Just one arm of that vast right-wing cabal, the secretive Judicial Crisis Network, will have invested at least $53 million in this project. They backed up Mitch McConnell's Republican Senate with $27 million in dark money keeping President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, off the court in 2016. They spent millions more on getting Trump's nominees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on the court—with an injection of $15.9 million from a single donor in the year between June 2018 and June 2019 for Kavanaugh. They...
    PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s suggestion to delay the presidential election is grounds for “immediate impeachment,” according to the leader of an influential conservative organization. Federalist Society co-founder Steven Calabresi opposed Trump’s impeachment last year, but the president’s tweet on Thursday criticizing mail-in voting and bringing up a postponement to election day crossed the line.  2President Donald Trump tweeted, 'Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???'Credit: Getty Images - Getty “Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist,” Calabresi wrote in an op-ed published in The New York Times on Thursday.  “But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate.” Trump on Thursday morning tweeted that with universal mail-in voting, “2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRADULENT Election in history” and “a great embarrassment to the USA.” “Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” he wrote.  Trump’s allegations that mail-in voting leads to increased fraud...
    Federalist Society co-founder Stephen Calabresi said that President Trump’s tweet suggesting to postpone the election is “fascistic” and “grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment.” “Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist,” Calabresi wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. “But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate. Calabresi noted that he has voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, including for Trump in 2016. He said he had defended the president against the Mueller investigation and against the impeachment investigation. The Federalist Society is an influential conservative and libertarian organization that advocates for textualist and originalist interpretation of the Consitutiton. "Election Day was fixed by a federal law passed in 1845, and the Constitution itself in the 20th Amendment specifies that the newly elected Congress meet at noon on Jan. 3, 2021, and that the terms of the president and vice president end at noon on...
    Steven Calabresi is not among the usual slate of conservative critics of the president. He doesn’t appear on MSNBC to lambast the Republican Party or write denunciations of the White House for The Bulwark. But in a new piece for the New York Times on Thursday, he offered a blistering rebuke to President Donald Trump’s suggestion on Twitter that he may seek to delay the November election. Calabresi started with his Trumpist bona fides, confirming that he’s not inclined to criticize the president: I have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, including voting for Donald Trump in 2016. I wrote op-eds and a law review article protesting what I believe was an unconstitutional investigation by Robert Mueller. I also wrote an op-ed opposing President Trump’s impeachment. Then he continued, cutting to the heart of the matter: But I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist. But this latest tweet is fascistic and is...
    The Federalist Society, the conservative legal group that pushed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment, has been the biggest contributor to the re-election campaign of Sen. Susan Collins, the embattled Maine Republican, since she voted to confirm him, federal filings show. Donors associated with the Federalist Society, which has supported numerous other right-wing federal judges appointed by President Trump, have contributed more than $300,000 to Collins’ campaign and related political action committees over the last 18 months. That’s more than executives and employees at General Dynamics, the second-largest contributor to Collins, have contributed during her entire Senate career. Those campaign contributions poured in after the Federalist Society and its affiliates waged a multi-million-dollar campaign to ensure Kavanaugh’s nomination shortly after receiving a secretive $17 million anonymous donation, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The effort prevailed, barely, after Collins cast a pivotal vote in Kavanaugh’s 50-48 confirmation. That vote led to a massive crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $4 million in advance for Collins’ eventual Democratic challenger. Collins decried the effort as a “quid pro quo” that was the “equivalent of an attempt to bribe me to vote against...
    Igor Derysh July 10, 2020 5:56PM (UTC) The Federalist Society, the conservative legal group that pushed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's appointment, has been the biggest contributor to the re-election campaign of Sen. Susan Collins, the embattled Maine Republican, since she voted to confirm him, federal filings show. Donors associated with the Federalist Society, which has supported numerous other right-wing federal judges appointed by President Trump, have contributed more than $300,000 to Collins' campaign and related political action committees over the last 18 months. That's more than executives and employees at General Dynamics, the second-largest contributor to Collins, have contributed during her entire Senate career. : Those campaign contributions poured in after the Federalist Society and its affiliates waged a multi-million-dollar campaign to ensure Kavanaugh's nomination shortly after receiving a secretive $17 million anonymous donation, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The effort prevailed, barely, after Collins cast a pivotal vote in Kavanaugh's 50-48 confirmation. That vote led to a massive crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $4 million in advance for Collins' eventual Democratic challenger. Collins decried the effort as a "quid pro quo" that was the "equivalent...
    Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has been the object of liberal ire since her 2018 vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Now in a tight re-election fight, whatever hopes she might have had of putting that episode behind her were dashed this week, when now-Justice Kavanaugh cast a dissenting vote in the Supreme Court’s latest decision to uphold the legal framework that grants access to women seeking abortions. But the legacy of Collins’ vote on Kavanaugh hasn’t been all bad for the longtime Maine senator. In fact, it’s appeared to earn her some powerful and deep-pocketed new allies. Collins, who’s staked out a brand as a pro-choice moderate Republican over her nearly 24 years in the Senate, has historically never been a favorite in the conservative legal circles embodied by the Federalist Society, a leading group of right-of-center attorneys and legal thinkers. But that, apparently, has changed dramatically since Collins’ fateful vote. Since 2019, Collins’ campaign and two associated political action committees have raked in nearly $200,000 from donors who are also high-dollar contributors to the Federalist Society....
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