PFAW Debunks Hatch Characterization of Federalist Society, Responds to Senator’s Extraordinary Ad Hominem Attack
People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas said that Sen. Orrin Hatch’s recent speech on the Senate floor repeatedly denouncing People For the American Way and describing the Federalist Society as a group of lawyers concerned only with encouraging debate on legal issues was “unfortunate, unfair, and inaccurate.” Neas released a letter to Sen. Hatch as well as a recently updated copy of a People For the American Way Foundation report on the Federalist Society, which examines the group’s influence on the Bush administration’s judicial selection process.
“There is an urgent need for a national debate on the future of the federal judiciary,” said Neas. “Sen. Hatch, People For the American Way, and the Federalist Society are all participants in that debate. But ad hominem attacks do not advance the debate. Neither do Sen. Hatch’s efforts to portray the Federalist Society as merely a forum for debate.”
“We welcome debate about the consequences of the growing ideological domination of the federal courts by judges who are eager to turn back the clock on decades of legal precedent governing issues like civil rights enforcement, environmental protection, worker safety and health, reproductive rights and privacy, and more,” said Neas. “The push to fill the judiciary with judges who will return the nation to a ‘states’ rights’ judicial philosophy is in fact led by the Federalist Society and its members both inside and outside the administration.”
The People For the American Way Foundation report, an update of an earlier version, documents the Federalist Society’s stated aspirations for influencing the direction of the American legal system and examines the influence its members have had on the Bush administration, including its legal and civil rights policies and judicial nominations.