The Federalist Society

Official Website1776 I Street, NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006. 2016 Annual Report.  2017 Annual Report

Leonard Leo holds the power, founded by Libertarians and conservatives in 1982 as the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, a forum for legal and policy debate. The effect is that it has completely shaped the judiciary. The Lawyers Division has 65,000+ members, the student division has 10,000+ members reaching 63,000+ annually. The Faculty division was established in early 1999. George Mason University has a student chapter in Washington DC.

DONORS pg 48

Donors Trust, the Right-Wing Secret Money Machine, Doled Out $66.7 Million in 2016 PR Watch by David Armiak 

Official Reports and information about donors here, focused on climate change policy and the Federalist Society’s efforts to de-regulate with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on November 17, 2017 and in January 2016, when he spoke at Federalist events; April 20, 2017: BakerHostetler attorney Mark DeLaquil discussed the Clean Power Plan, blaming Obama, released by the Federalist Society.: DESMOG Clearing the PR pollution that clouds climate science ” May 2018 Maria Marshall, Director of Operations at the Office of the Executive Vice President at the Federalist Society was reportedly involved in planning a Rome visit for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to visit Cardinal Pell, a prominent member of the Catholic church and a climate change denier. [40]

Documents released by New York Times reporter Eric Lipton outlined planning for the dinner in May, and the schedule of the dinner. According to an email sent during the dinner, an EPA staff member said that Pruitt and Pell discussed a Wall Street Journal article that had reported on the proposal of a “red team/blue team” debate on climate scienceThe Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo also attended the dinner. According to another report in the New York Times, Leo helped organize the June 2017 Vatican trip. [41]

The Washington Post reported Pruitt had earlier dined at one of Rome’s finest restaurants at the expense of The Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo. When asked about the dinner, an EPA spokesman said Pruitt was allowed to accept the gift given the men’s personal relationship, however Leo was subsequently reimbursed for the cost. Leo reportedly arranged private events for Pruitt and his aides in Rome, and Leo was invited to join a meeting between Pruitt and Archbishop Paul Gallagher to discuss environmental policy. [42], [43]

August 8, 2016 The Federalist Society held a podcast during a Federalist Society conference all discussing the ExxonMobil climate change investigations. The podcast featured Andrew Grossman, Partner at Baker & Hostetler LLP and an Adjunct Scholar and counsel at The CATO Institute. [18] As noted in the podcast, Grossman has “been involved in both defending targets of the subpoenas and in challenging the lawfulness of their issuance.” The teleforum took place on August 1, 2016. [19] 

April 2016 An article at The Federalist Society decried an investigation by a coalition (AGs United for Clean Power) of Attorneys General into Exxon Mobil knew about climate change (#ExxonKnew) as “an inquisition of those who disseminate opposing views.” According to the Federalist Society article, the state AGs that did not join in the effort “recognize the dangers to the core values of respect for the rule of law and free speech posed by this coalition.” [20]

“They recognize that good science embraces disagreement and the chilling effect on research when the government decides what is ‘truth’ and what is ‘fraud’ in what is in fact an ongoing scientific debate,” The Federalist Society article read. [20]. A follow-up article described the ExxonMobil and climate change denier investigation as “a threat to core constitutional commands of free speech, limited and constitutional government and the rule of law.” [20]

The Federalist Society also released a video of Andrew Grossman, a partner at the law firm BakerHostetler and counsel for the fossil-fuel-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute explaining “Free Speech and Climate Change”: [21]

March 31, 2010 The Federalist Society hosted an event titled “Junk Science and Climate Change” sponsored by the Environmental Law &Property Rights Practice Group. [29] 

February 23, 2010 The Federalist Society held an event featuring fossil-fuel-fund” DESMOG




November 16-18, 2017: Washington DC National Lawyer’s Convention AG Jeff Sessions, WH Counsel Don McGahn and Neil Gorsuch were keynote speakers. The Hill

The Secrets of Leonard Leo, the Man Behind Trump’s Supreme Court Pick The Daily Beast A Catholic fundamentalist who controls a network of right-wing groups funded by dark money has put three justices on the court. He’s about to get a fourth. July 9, 2018

Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society is the man to see if you aspire to the Supreme Court LA Times David G. Savage Federalist Society Executive Vice President Leonard Leo. He is advising President Trump on nominees for the Supreme Court. (Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)  “Leonard Leo, a vice president of the conservative Federalist Society, will soon have his own grateful bloc of ideological allies on the Supreme Court. Since the 1990s, he has been one of the most important inside players in the conservative legal movement and the man to see for those who aspire to sit on the nation’s highest courts. Leo has been a longtime friend and champion of Justice Clarence Thomas, and he played a crucial role in promoting the two most recent Republican appointees to the high court: Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch.

“No one has been more dedicated to the enterprise of building a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe vs. Wade than the Federalist Society’s LeonardLeo,Ed Whelan [Judicial Crisis Network, CRC Media/Brett Kavanaugh ], a former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia and president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote in December 2016, shortly before President Trump nominated Gorsuch to fill Scalia’s seat.

For his part, Leo, 52, downplays the talk of overturning the abortion right. “The left has been using Roe vs. Wade as a scare tactic since 1982,” he said in a recent TV interview. “This is not about overturning a particular case. It’s about getting the Constitution right.” Leo’s detractors scoff at such claims and predict that a solidly conservative court will target liberal rulings.

Leo is always careful to emphasize that Trump is in charge of the court selection process, with the assistance of White House Counsel Donald McGahn, who describes himself as a proud member of the Federalist Society. Leo describes the task of his group and the Heritage Foundation as one of screening judges to find the best thinkers and writers who adhere to the principles of “textualism” and “originalism” that are favored on the right.

A few days after Trump’s surprise election victory, Leo was at Trump Tower in New York offering his thoughts on how to proceed in filling the seat left vacant by Scalia’s death.

This time, two of the top three candidates have a similar appeal, and all come with Leo’s stamp of approval. Judge Brett Kavanaugh, 53, was a law clerk for Kennedy the same year as Gorsuch, has served on the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals since 2006, and his more than 300 opinions have been reliably conservative.

Judge Raymond Kethledge, 51, another former Kennedy clerk, is from Michigan and has served on the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals for a decade. His blunt put-downs of federal agencies have won plaudits on the right.”

George Mason University: Koch Buys Influence

DESMOG Clearing the PR pollution that clouds climate science“The Federalist Society maintains a George Mason Univeristy Student Chapter, as well as an overwhelming number of contributors and staff members that overlap with positions, studies, or other associations with GMU. Many have direct ties either to the Mercatus Center at GMU, or to the Antonin Scalia Law School. [39]

Documents released in late April 2018 revealed George Mason University gave the Charles Koch Foundation a say in hiring decisions in exchange for donations, The Associated Press reported[37]

GMU president Angel Cabrera said the agreements “fall short of the standards of academic independence I expect any gift to meet.” His admission came three days after a judge began looking into the university’s previous refusal to release documents. [37]

The released donor agreements shed light onto million-dollar deals where the Koch Foundation would endow a fund to pay the salary for professors at the Mercatus Center. As part of the agreement, two members of a five-member committee could be chosen by donors to select the professor for the position. View an example of such an agreement, via The Washington Post[37][38]

While heavily redacted, the documents also revealed some details of a $10 million donation from the Koch Foundation and a $20 million donation from an anonymous donor that occurred in conjunction with GMU renaming its law school after Antonin Scalia. While the donor is not named, Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the conservative Federalist Society, ws mentioned as a representative for the donor. [37]”