Federalist Society
Founded in 1982, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians dedicated to reforming the current legal order. We are committed to the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks to promote awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.

In its mission and purpose, the Federalist Society is unique. By providing a forum for legal experts of opposing views to interact with members of the legal profession, the judiciary, law students, academics, and the architects of public policy, the Society has redefined the terms of legal debate. Our expansion in membership, chapters, and program activity has been matched by the rapid growth of the Society's reputation and the quality and influence of our events. We have fostered a greater appreciation for the role of separation of powers; federalism; limited, constitutional government; and the rule of law in protecting individual freedom and traditional values. Overall, the Society's efforts are improving our present and future leaders' understanding of the principles underlying American law.

The Society is a membership organization that features a Student Division, a Lawyers Division, and a newly-established Faculty Division. The Student Division includes more than 5,000 law students at approximately 180 ABA-accredited law schools.

Law schools and the legal profession are currently strongly dominated by a form of orthodox liberal ideology which advocates a centralized and uniform society. While some members of the academic community have dissented from these views, by and large they are taught simultaneously with (and indeed as if they were) the law.

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.

The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities. This entails reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law. It also requires restoring the recognition of the importance of these norms among lawyers, judges, and law professors.

In working to achieve these goals, the Society has created a conservative and libertarian intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal community.

"The Federalist Society is changing the culture of our nation's law schools. You are returning the values and concepts of law as our founders understood them to scholarly dialogue, and through that dialogue, to our legal institutions."

- President Ronald Reagan

"[T]he convention of the Federalist Society was a show of intellectual firepower and numerical forces by conservatives who have already begun to change the terms of legal debate and to revive legal doctrines that were for decades dismissed as historical curiosities."

- The New York Times

Want to learn more? Contact us.

President
George Codding
gbcodding@mail.widener.edu

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