April 26, 2011
Dear Friends and Supporters:
This annual report marks the Federalist Society’s 28th anniversary as advocate for the principles of limited government, the separation of powers, and the rule of law. It’s been quite a year. We have witnessed a tremendous revival of interest in the Constitution, thanks in large part to the tea parties. The public is now debating the constitutional issues raised by legislation such as national health care and Dodd-Frank. Questions about the proper role of government are front and center. Since its beginning the Federalist Society has sought to foster debate on such questions. The infrastructure we’ve developed has helped to lay groundwork for this debate, and through that infrastructure we will continue to foster the debate in every way we can.
This infrastructure is extensive and influential. At many law schools, including over half of the country’s top 20, the Society is now the strongest extra-curricular presence; and this presence of ours continues to grow, thanks largely to the work of our student chapters. As one member at Yale explained to the press, the Federalist Society chapters “bring in speakers who enrich the law schools’ intellectual debate by voicing perspectives students don’t otherwise hear.” This progress in enriching the debate through the discussion of rule of law principles has been assisted by the thousands of citizens involved with the Federalist Society, including 4,000 very active volunteers who’ve helped bring the debate to the general public.
The country’s constitutional enthusiasm and the Society’s efforts to further its constitutional debate contributed much to the Society’s growth this year. In 2010 over 45,000 law students, lawyers, academics, judges, and policy leaders were involved in our wide variety of programs. We conducted over 1,400 events at law schools and Lawyers Chapters and saw a 15 percent increase in attendance at those events. Our alumni have now organized officially on the national level. We have over 100,000 Facebook fans and more than 4,000 followers on Twitter. The number of people exposed to the papers, articles, and interviews from one Federalist Society project alone (State Courts) has risen to 51.7 million.
As mentioned above, much of this growth is due to the national hunger for a genuine and mature debate on the rule of law. In order for the Federalist Society to persevere in its work of feeding this hunger—in order to continue inculcating an attitude that supports open, serious, intellectual discussion on the Constitution, limited government, and the role of the courts—we must take advantage of this groundswell of constitutional enthusiasm by encouraging still more debate on rule of law principles. The Federalist Society is prepared to make its contribution to this debate, but as always our contribution depends on yours.
Over 120 years ago James Madison wrote that “you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” The Constitution is that control of the government over itself, that surety that freedom will continue to flourish. As the Constitution goes, so goes the country. With your help, and through the renewed national interest in the constitutional debate, the Federalist Society will keep defending both for years to come.
Eugene B. Meyer