Dear Prospective Supporter:
Washington, DC, as one prominent conservative leader has explained, is a town where the urgent overwhelms the important.
At any given time, there are usually urgent issues. But what is sometimes forgotten is the importance of the ideas that inform law and policy. While candidates, political races, and the issues of the day emerge and exhaust themselves fairly quickly, the effort to renew our intellectual and philosophical tradition is constant and not an issue that will be resolved overnight.
When press stories refer to Federalist Society members who have attained high government positions, it simply reflects that our membership of 45,000 includes those who care deeply about our principles and who also care about public policy and wish to make a contribution. We believe their activities within the Society have fostered these interests through introducing them to individuals who share their commitment and through exposing them to programs that challenge and develop their thinking.
I ask for your support in this effort, which is at the heart of our mission at the Federalist Society. As you know, the Federalist Society is dedicated to advancing traditional legal principles—limited, constitutional government, the separation of powers, individual liberty and responsibility, and the rule of law—throughout the legal community.
The Federalist Society has helped shift the very terms of debate. At a time when one leading constitutional law casebook consigned the Constitution itself to “Appendix B,” the Federalist Society helped rekindle interest in a jurisprudence based on understanding the Constitution’s text. Today, almost everyone in the legal and constitutional debates mentions the Constitution and tries to argue that its text is on their side. This rarely happened thirty years ago.
I am frequently told what a difference the Federalist Society has been making. This kind of praise is gratifying, and I know exactly why we have such success: the hard work and support of our volunteers, our donors, and the 4,000 volunteer officers who lead our Student Chapters, Lawyers Chapters, and Practice Groups.
Since 1983, the Federalist Society has been building a community of lawyers and law students who share our commitment to traditional legal principles—and will fight for them in the public policy world. We have had the good fortune of attracting many of the most capable young lawyers and law students of their generation.
Thirty years ago, before the Federalist Society was founded, each lawyer and law student with a belief in limited government and individual liberty often felt as if he or she were the only one who thought that way. Our nation’s law schools were packed with left-leaning scholars who were indifferent—if not hostile—to our ideas. And, outside the academy, legal professionals learned to use the law as a tool to advance particular political and social goals.
Today, thanks in large part to the Federalist Society, our ideas are again at the forefront of the legal and policy debate. Consider our presence at America’s law schools:
- The Federalist Society has established over 200 chapters at every one of America’s accredited law schools.
- Last year, committed, energetic Federalist Society student chapters held over 1,150 major speaking and debate events bringing leading exponents of limited constitutional government to their campuses to engage in the legal debate.
- Nearly 70,000 students attended these events. These students emerged with a better understanding of the traditional legal principles on which our nation was founded.
The Federalist Society is having a similar impact among practitioners:
- Federalist Society lawyers chapters may be found in 70 cities across the nation. At the same time, thousands of lawyers participate in the Society’s 85 Practice Groups and Subcommittees, which enable them to apply traditional legal principles to fifteen specialized areas of law, from corporations to litigation to civil rights to intellectual property.
- Last year, Federalist Society lawyers chapters hosted over 300 events with over 18,000 lawyers attending.
- Our ABA Watch newsletter fuels much-needed discussion about the proper role of the American Bar Association in the legal profession.
- Our Class Action Watch monitors trends in class action litigation across the country, while also offering digests of important cases and tracking proposed legislative reforms.
Through our student chapters, lawyers chapters, Practice Groups, and publications such as ABA Watch and Class Action Watch, the Federalist Society has established a beachhead in the law for those who believe 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 of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.
Our grassroots network contains some 45,000 lawyers, law students, professors, policy leaders, judges, and others committed to constitutional principles. This network is rapidly growing in numbers and is participating actively in a wide variety of ways in the public policy discussion.
But to continue growing in size and effectiveness, the Federalist Society is dependent upon its volunteers and donors. With your help, I firmly believe that this organization can continue to play a vital role in truly restoring our constitutional principles.
That requires institutionalizing the Society, which is uniquely qualified to play an important role in restoring the rule of law. Many organizations, as they become institutionalized, buy new buildings or headquarters. The Federalist Society, however, is a different kind of organization. The Society’s long-term goals are best met by developing the vast human capital of its volunteers and members, and by assuring that its true headquarters—its chapters—are well positioned to continue and expand on their efforts for years to come.
We need your help to continue building this community of lawyers, and other professionals who share our principles.
Additionally, we need your help with our students across the country. Think of the Federalist Society as an up-and-coming university. You probably give money to your college, your law school, or to other institutions that were formative in your development. If you do, I imagine that—at least in part—it is because you believe in education and care about the future of America. We have always viewed our mission in that same light.
The Society has the equivalent of small campuses nationwide, each of which provides law students with legal education they receive from no other source. But unlike most other institutions, we direct all of our energies toward advancing legal principles such as limited constitutional government, individual freedom and responsibility, and the rule of law.
Like a growing university, the Society needs increased resources to match the demands placed upon it by our growing chapters and increased programming. As we continue our expansion, I ask that you please consider supporting this part of the Society's work as you would a good university.
I am proud of our mission, the capable and committed people who help us to advance that mission, and our progress to date in what by its nature will be a long-term effort. But to help restore the rule of law, we need your financial support. Your investment in the Federalist Society will have a sustained impact for years to come.
Eugene B. Meyer