Monday, January 30, 2006

Alito and the Federalist Society

Today's New York Times has an insightful story about the role of the Federalist Society in paving the way for the approval of jurists like Chief Justice John Roberts and Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. It is entitled, "In Alito, G.O.P. Reaps Harvest Planted in '82." Here's a quote:

Alito's confirmation is also the culmination of a disciplined campaign begun by the Reagan administration to seed the lower federal judiciary with like-minded jurists who could reorient the federal courts toward a view of the Constitution much closer to its 18th-century authors' intent, including a much less expansive view of its application to individual rights and federal power. It was a philosophy promulgated by Edwin Meese III, attorney general in the Reagan administration, that became the gospel of the Federalist Society and the nascent conservative legal movement.

Both Mr. Roberts and Mr. Alito were among the cadre of young conservative lawyers attracted to the Reagan administration's Justice Department. And both advanced to the pool of promising young jurists whom strategists like C. Boyden Gray, White House counsel in the first Bush administration and an adviser to the current White House, sought to place throughout the federal judiciary to groom for the highest court.

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