Tuesday, February 14, 2006


The apparently mainstream American Bar Association

Two articles over at WashingtonPost.Com:

Scalia Dismisses 'Living Constitution'
WASHINGTON IN BRIEF: Lawyers Group Criticizes Surveillance Program

The first discusses Justice Scalia’s latest talk before a Federalist Society gathering in Puerto Rico. The second article reports that the American Bar Association has formally criticized the President for the international terrorist surveillance program which has been in the news of late.

Here’s how the Post first identified the group to which Justice Scalia was addressing;

“In a speech Monday sponsored by the Federalist Society, Scalia defended his long-held belief in sticking to the plain text of the Constitution "as it was originally written and intended."”
Nah – just kidding. You’re not allowed to refer to the Federalist Society without prefixing it with the word ‘conservative’…as in:
“In a speech Monday sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society, Scalia defended ….”
Later the Post helpfully explains that “Scalia was invited to Puerto Rico by the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. The organization was founded in 1982 as a debating society by students who believed professors at the top law schools were too liberal. Conservatives and libertarians mainly make up the 35,000 members.”
Now, contrast that with this Post report from the American Bar Association’s midyear meeting in Chicago:
“The American Bar Association denounced President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program yesterday, accusing him of exceeding his powers under the Constitution.”
In this instance, the Post obviously didn’t feel any descriptive addendums like “liberal” or “far left” to the organization’s name was appropriate.
Now after reading those two short articles, could you guess which organization consistently takes positions on a host of legislative, social and cultural issues? Could you guess which organization is a lobbying force on Capitol Hill?  Can you guess which organization, just in the last few days passed a resolution to “Promote legislation to establish a process to provide federal recognition and restore self-determination to Native Hawaiians (Resolution 108B)”?
Can you guess which organization never takes a position on any issue, prepares no amicus briefs and has no lobbyists?
Read for yourself: News Release - ABA House of Delegates to Address Freedom of Information, Research on the Consequences of Slavery, and Gay and Lesbian Foster Care at Midyear Meeting in Chicago.
Also: The Hopelessly P.C. American Bar Association
Full disclosure: I am a card-carrying member of the Federalist Society. I used to belong to the ABA but eventually passed on renewal because, well, because of silly posturings like noted above. However, I will note that the ABA’s Tax Section is an excellent resource. If only there was a way to join them without having to support the rest of the ABA’s silliness…….

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