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July 25, 2005

Is it too early to call it "FederalistSocietyGate"?

Curiouser and curiouser.  Supreme Court nominee Judge Roberts' apparent non-membership in the Federalist Society (the conservative networking group for lawyers, membership in which has become de rigueur for right-leaning lawyers who want to get ahead) has raised eyebrows on both the left and the right.  Everyone assumed he was a member; then the White House started calling reporters to insist that he wasn't; and no one really knows why he didn't join.

Now, however, the WaPo reports that Roberts is listed as a member of the steering committee of the Federalist Society's Washington DC chapter in 1997-98, when he was still a partner at Hogan & Hartson.  Oh, no problem, says a FedSoc VP - formal membership in the organization is not required in order to serve on a steering committee.  But of course, the FedSoc regards its membership rolls as confidential, so they won't say whether he ever actually joined.

What in the hell is going on here?  Before this all began, no one would have been surprised to learn that Roberts was a FedSoc member - in fact, everyone assumed he was, which is why the fact that he supposedly isn't and never has been made the news.  But it's passing strange to see him listed as a member of a steering committee of a group that he was supposedly never a member of.  It's even stranger, IMHO, for him never to have shelled out the $50 to join a group whose activities he found sufficiently important that he agreed to serve on its steering committee.  It's not like a Hogan & Hartson partner pulling in a salary in the high six figures couldn't afford it.

And so I demand that the administration answer, with respect to this urgently pressing matter: WHAT DID THE PRESIDENT KNOW, AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?

OK, kidding.  Still, it's weird, don't you think?

Posted by David at 12:03 AM in Law and Lawyers | Permalink


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I know the federalist party is the starting point for many right wing kooks. But it also has many moderate memebrs who intellectualy are apprehensive about a powerful federal government. Not southern segregasts. But those that know history and see where it can lead. This is different then being against large gov ernment programs.

Posted by: the troll | Jul 25, 2005 9:42:36 AM

Very odd. Could this be a GOP attempt to draw some of the Dem scrutiny from the Plame affair? I wouldn't worry too much about it.

On the other hand, Senate Democrats should focus their attention on getting the White House to release documents from Robert's work with the Reagan and Bush I administrations. A full and fair review indeed.

Posted by: Hooks | Jul 25, 2005 10:51:20 AM

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