May 16, 2005

Society Girls, Please!

by PG

Readers who have gauged my politics may be a little surprised to know that I'm on the Federalist Society board at my law school. I took an interest in the organization since the beginning of the year because they offer so many events, and now I am the secretary/ webmaster of the group. It's a minimal position, but I still participate in planning meetings.

Today we were makings lists of the speakers for next school year, and I mentioned halfway through that perhaps we ought to consider some women. The president immediately agreed, but apparently there's a shortage of "name" Federalists who aren't men. This past year we had one (non-legal) female speaker, and next year doesn't look much better unless we get Janice Rogers Brown, about whom "real" federalists get very excited, for whatever reason.

There ought to be enough Federalist women, even aside from the ones mentioned in the NRO piece, to have at least one speak for every three or four men who do. Admittedly the Federalist Society itself is heavily weighted toward men (and white people, as noted in the comments here), but there are female judges, clerks, academics and practitioners who would be able to speak from this particular perspective.

(Make what you will of how this may or may not tie into the "Where are the women?" discussion from earlier this year about opinion columns, blogs, bookshelves etc.)

May 16, 2005 03:58 PM | TrackBack

Amy Wax would be a good speaker- She's smart, gives a good talk, and has interesting postions. I don't know if she's connected with the federalist society or not (I sort of doubt it, but don't know) but she'd certainly be worth having.

Posted by: Matt at May 16, 2005 09:30 PM

What about Ann Coulter? I know she's controversial even among conservatives, but while at the University of Michigan law school, she founded the local chapter of the Federalist Society.

Posted by: anonymous at May 17, 2005 12:33 AM

Perhaps women more astutely focus more upon the principles of the Federalist Papers and the Federalist Party of Hamilton, Adams, et al, than the Federalist Society, preferring to purchase their wine interstate rather than whining about states rights.

Posted by: Shag from Brookline at May 17, 2005 07:05 AM

You know, when you have to start flailing around & can only produce names like Ann Coulter, perhaps it's time to recognize an organization is utterly bankrupt.

Enjoy living under our Federalist-created Imperial Presidency!

--Torture at will, sir!

--Why, I think I will Jay, what a snazzy little memo you've cooked up. I'm sure Clarence will think it's just great...

Posted by: Reader at May 17, 2005 11:20 AM

Amy Wax spoke on a panel at this year's Federalist student symposium at Harvard and I liked her work there and what I've seen of it elsewhere.

Also at the symposium was Hadley Arkes. When someone brought up his name at yesterday's meeting, I said No, because he made my teeth hurt both times I've heard him speak; I couldn't stop them from grinding together when he equated homosexuality with pedophilia.

And someone mentioned Ann Coulter, but I think that was just to watch me shudder involuntarily.

Posted by: PG at May 17, 2005 02:46 PM

Thanks, PG, you passed the test. I can't stand Ann Coulter, and I was hoping you would agree. I suggested her in an innocuous manner in case you were a fan; since I was surprised that you are even a member Federalist Society, I wasn't sure how conservative your leanings were on this. Sorry about the involuntary shuddering. At least I know it doesn't just affect liberals like me.

Posted by: anonymous at May 18, 2005 11:40 AM


Don't take my shudders as generalizable to the Federalist Society. I'm the token liberal, and one of the few women and people of color. As a friend who is much more ideologically federalist than I, though less participatory in the organization, put it: "Yeah, they all know that you're sleeping with the enemy."

However, I hang out with FedSoc because I think it's healthy to have my ideas challenged by intelligent people. Arkes and Coulter, whatever their IQs may be, do not fall into this category for me; they are mere provocateurs, not even useful gadflies. I'm reasonably tolerant of people who differ from me -- heck, I was the one who suggested having Bork speak, and I'd start a hunger strike if he really were renominated -- but they have to sound coherent and not just go about flinging insults.

Posted by: PG at May 18, 2005 03:39 PM
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