The Federalist Society celebrated its 20th anniversary last night in DC. The speakers included the sort of legal luminaries that have shaped American jurisprudence like Judge Bork and Justice Scalia, as well as current administration officials such as Attorney General Ashcroft, Solicitor General Ted Olsen (who stole the show), Secretary of Interior Gail Norton, and Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. This lineup was impressive, but what is truly impressive is the impact that the Federalist Society has had in changing discourse at American law schools. While American law schools are still largely bastions of the left, through the auspices of the Federalist Society, real debate on legal issues occurs on these campuses. And when I say debate, it is no longer limited to just different perspectives on how great Justice Brennan’s decision was in a given case. For this I owe the Federalist a debt of gratitude. Happy 20th anniversary.
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