Reviews

“…it’s possible, given the volume of information in this book, to reconstruct a thesis about why the Federalist Society was so effective in changing the legal debate in America. [...] With striking clairvoyance, it outlined an incrementalist strategy for narrowing the right to reproductive choice and predicted, accurately, that the expansive jurisprudence of personal autonomy, recognized in cases like Roe v. Wade, might eventually lead to the judicial recognition of gay marriage.” –The New York Times Book Review

The Federalist Society describes an important development in American law. Written in a clear and engaging style, the book largely avoids the deadening jargon that all too often weighs down the discussion of legal topics. Beyond the critical legal issues it explores, the book recounts the extraordinary impact a group of dedicated individuals can have in shaping public policy. Conservatives and libertarians are thrilled by the rise the Federalist Society; liberals and progressives are appalled. But no matter how you look at it, no one can ignore the impact the Society has had, and will continue to have, on the very nature of the American constitutional system.” — Los Angeles Review of Books

The “Read This’ List, June 11, 2013.  David Fontana of The Daily Beast discusses the theories and ideas contained in The Federalist Society, noting that Originalism harkens back to the late 19th Century, but that the organizational and intellectual power of Federalist Society members have brought it to the fore of constitutional debate. 

Caroline Fredrickson, President of the American Constitution Society calls the work  an “illuminating and important book that I hope will help engage liberals in a discussion of how we can reclaim the law from the right . . . .” –Washington Independent Review of Books

Cassens Weiss discusses the Jeff Rosen book review, ABA Journal, May 15, 2013.  

“Fascinating, well-written and hard-hitting piece of writing underscoring the importance of the federal judiciary in our democracy. The politicization of the courts is a topic more relevant than ever in these partisan times, and Avery and McLaughlin’s concise, incisive style does it justice.” –Nan Aron, President and Founder, Alliance for Justice

“Michael Avery and Danielle McLaughlin have written a compelling book about how the Federalist Society came to prominence, its tremendous influence in Republican presidential administrations especially in the selection of judges, and its conservative ideology on major issues of constitutional law. It is a story of how ideas, money, and careful planning came together to change the legal landscape. This well-written book is a must read for all who want to understand the conservative movement in law, its views and those advancing them.” –Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean and Distinguished Professor, University of California, Irvine School of Law

“A compelling intellectual history of the rise of the powerful Federalist Society, this is a thoughtful recounting of all the ways in which the group has impacted and influenced legal doctrine, and a roadmap of what’s to come should their ascendancy continue. Anyone who cares about the courts or the law will find The Federalist Society a stark reminder of the power of abstract ideas to effect real and lasting change for decades.” –Dahlia Lithwick, Senior Editor, Slate.com

“Much of what The Federalist Society covers will be familiar to readers who closely follow law or politics, but even those readers will find value in its straightforward mix of history, case studies, and legal arguments. For others, it serves as an introduction to a long-term story that has slowly and quietly–but dramatically–changed the American legal system.”
Foreword

“Avery and McLaughlin have written an important, highly informative book about the role of the Federalist Society in shaping jurisprudence and public policy over the last 30 years. [...] Recommended.” –Choice

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