Should the Federalist Society reckon with members who aided Trump's false election claims?
President Donald Trump. Photo from Shutterstock.com.
Some members of the Federalist Society are arguing that colleagues who helped President Donald Trump make false claims of widespread election fraud should be distanced from the conservative group.
One member calling for action is appellate litigator Jeremy Rosen, whose federal judicial nomination was not acted on before the Senate left Washington, D.C., this month, according to Law360.
Above the Law founder David Lat, writing at his online publication Original Jurisdiction, obtained a copy of an email that Rosen sent to Federalist Society leaders.
“I think that the Federalist Society must take a stand to remove anyone from leadership and to take away the legitimacy of our public forums to anyone who participated in this attack on the rule of law and our Constitution,” Rosen wrote. “If we cannot take that stand, then what have we been fighting for all of these years? I know that I speak for many members and leaders of the Federalist Society in bringing these concerns to you.”
Rosen mentioned three members in particular. One is John Eastman, a newly retired professor at Chapman University’s Dale E. Fowler School of Law. He also spoke at the Jan. 6 rally the day of the Capitol riot and represented Trump in a bid for U.S. Supreme Court election intervention. Eastman chairs the Federalist Society’s federalism and separation of powers practice group.
The two others are Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, who led opposition to the certification of the election results. Both have spoken at Federalist Society events.
Lat spoke with two other Federalist Society members who shared Rosen’s concerns. And there are more.
“I have learned that outside the public spotlight,” Lat wrote, “Federalist Society leaders, members and staff are engaged in vigorous debate about what, if anything, the society should do in the wake of the Capitol attack. Since Jan. 6, many longtime FedSoc members have urged the organization’s leaders and staffers in D.C. to take tangible action in response to the abominable attack on the rule of law represented by the siege of the Capitol.”
Lat described the Federalist Society as the nation’s premier group of conservative and libertarian law students and lawyers. The group fosters debate on legal topics and does not take positions on policy issues. It has not made any public statement about the riots.
Lat made his own recommendations on steps that the group can take to avoid the appearance of partisanship. They include cutting back or eliminating events that feature partisan politicians and giving chapter leadership positions to people without positions of authority in partisan groups.