What a great talk with Chuck Mertz this Saturday morning on WNUR Chicago’s This is Hell! with Chuck Mertz. How is it that the conservative legal movement has made such huge strides over the last 30 years, effectively “conservatizing” U.S. law, yet the story of their success has (until now) remained untold? The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies does not take public positions on policy issues and by doing so (as Steven Teles noted), they have created a “big tent” where conservatives can broadly advance their agenda without being compelled to agree on every single policy point (something liberals are still figuring out how to do). Instead, the work of the group is the work of its members. And they – some of them high profile academics, judges, legislators and lawyers – are arguing in the Supreme Court to expand corporate free speech and restrict regulation of labor and the environment, they are on the bench in the Federal Court system, they are finding plaintiffs and challenging state laws that are contrary to the Society’s belief in small government and expansive individual liberty. Our discussion starts at 1:12:36.
Reviews"The Federalist Society imparts a singularly useful lesson of how conservatives, armed with abundant funding and a long term strategy, have shaped the legal landscape in America. It is an especially invaluable contribution to legal literature given the lack of transparency in how this shift has transpired over the last three decades." Heidi Boghosian, President, National Lawyers Guild