The Federalist Society: How Conservatives Took The Law Back From Liberals

About the Book:

Over the last thirty years, The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies has grown from small group of disaffected conservative law students into an organization with extraordinary influence over American law and politics.  Unknown to the average citizen, this group of intellectuals managed to monopolize the selection of federal judges, take over the Department of Justice, and control legal policy in the White House.  How did this happen?  How did right wing law professors with radical ideas move their theories into the mainstream of legal thought?  How did Federalist Society members shape national policy for the “War on Terror,” reverse the Supreme Court’s direction on civil rights, chip away at a woman’s right to choose an abortion, win free speech rights for corporations to bankroll elections, and leave the United States as one of only two countries in the world that have not signed the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Children?  How has this group garnered broad acceptance of the idea that we should interpret the Constitution according to its original eighteenth century meaning, rather than as a “living” document? This book goes behind the surface of legislative and court battles to explain how law is really made.  It’s about how ideas and ideology drive law, policy and politics.  And what both conservatives and liberals alike can learn from the rise of the Federalist Society.

Click anywhere above to read a Q&A with the authors

I.F. “Izzy” Stone – lessons for journalists and everyone else

Izzy quotes from Wikiquote:

There must be renewed recognition that societies are kept stable and healthy by reform, not by thought police; this means there must be free play for so-called subversive ideas – every idea subverts the old to make way for the new. To shut off subversion is to shut off peaceful progress and to invite revolution and war.
I.F. Stone’s Weekly (1954-03-15)

Every time we are confronted with a new revolution we take to the opium pipes of our own propaganda.
I.F. Stone’s Weekly (1963-01-21)

I sought in political reporting what Galsworthy in another context had called “the significant trifle” — the bit of dialogue, the overlooked fact, the buried observation which illuminated the realities of the situation.
The Haunted Fifties (1963)

The fault I find with most American newspapers is not the absence of dissent. it is the absence of news. With a dozen or so honorable exceptions, most American newspapers carry very little news. Their main concern is advertising.
The Haunted Fifties (1963)

A certain moral imbecility marks all ethnocentric movements.
I.F. Stone’s Weekly (1967-08-03)

All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.
In a Time of Torment, 1961-1967 (1967), p. 317

Lifelong dissent has more than acclimated me cheerfully to defeat. It has made me suspicious of victory. I feel uneasy at the very idea of a Movement. I see every insight degenerating into a dogma, and fresh thoughts freezing into lifeless party line.
I.F. Stone’s Bi-Weekly (1969-05-19)

I thought I might teach philosophy but the atmosphere of a college faculty repelled me; the few islands of greatness seemed to be washed by seas of pettiness and mediocrity.
I.F. Stone’s Bi-Weekly (1971-12-14)