Federalist Society and Clerkships

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ndirish2010

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby ndirish2010 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:28 pm

rpupkin wrote:
wwwcol wrote:
charmonster wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm clerking for a GOP appointed judge who has sent clerks to both liberal and conservative SCOTUS and I was asked no questions on the subject of any ideological issues. I don't think ideology will factor much in my experience.

I was asked in an interview for another GOP appointed judge who my favorite justice was. I know this judge did not like my answer. Needless to say, I did not receive an offer.


"GOP appointed" isn't a very meaningful category here.


This is a trap people regularly fall into, but you often cannot infer conservatism from the fact that Reagan or Bush I or [insert president] appointed a judge, especially at the district court level.

Eh. It's less of a trap now than it was 30 or 40 years ago. As the judicial nomination/appointment process has become increasingly politicized over the last 20 years, we see fewer and fewer judges appointed--even at the district-court level--who stray from the liberal/conservative line of the Democratic/Republican parties. If a judge was appointed by GWB, there's a very good chance that the judge is relatively conservative. Likewise, if a judge was appointed by BHO, there's a very good chance that the judge is relatively liberal. There are exceptions, but those exceptions are getting rarer.


This is true, except in states with two reilable Senate seats for the other party. A lot of the district court nominations in those states are still given to Senators, even though blue slips are in danger of dying out at the circuit level.

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:45 am

Another data point that is probably useless: I'm a pretty far-left liberal and the DJ I clerk for is Republican-appointed, 100% Republican-voting, and generally pretty damn conservative. I've been clerking for him for almost two years and he recently asked if I was a Democrat because he had no idea. We rarely talk politics and it's almost never relevant to the decisions we work on. He looks down on applicants with anything in their resumes that hints at their politics, including FedSoc or ACS, because he thinks it indicates an inability "to put politics aside and follow the law." I understand that this is a questionable proxy for that, but that's his take on the matter.

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:30 pm

LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm clerking for a (non-feeder) conservative judge who regularly participates in fed soc panels. I think some of the fears of being "sniffed out" as not conservative enough are avoidable. Yes, you want red soc on your resume but no one is going to grill you on how well you attend events/what the three principles are, etc. Also, an applicant can to a certain extent drive the conversation to areas where you are "sufficiently conservative" even if you aren't across the board. For instance, you can bring up federalism, or national security, or police deference, or textualism, or separation of powers, or eminent domain law. Then that will be the topic for a bit.

But yeah, it's a bad idea to discuss the value of legislative history.

Eta: this is directed at people who agree with the fed soc position on some but not all issues. It doesn't apply to liberal students just trying to get a hiring edge.


WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! what are the three principles? I'm now very interested. Fed Soc has principles?


1. State exists to preserve freedom.
2. Separation of power is essential to constitutional order.
3. Judiciary should say what the law is, not what it ought to be.

-Former FedSoc Chapter Pres

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm clerking for a (non-feeder) conservative judge who regularly participates in fed soc panels. I think some of the fears of being "sniffed out" as not conservative enough are avoidable. Yes, you want red soc on your resume but no one is going to grill you on how well you attend events/what the three principles are, etc. Also, an applicant can to a certain extent drive the conversation to areas where you are "sufficiently conservative" even if you aren't across the board. For instance, you can bring up federalism, or national security, or police deference, or textualism, or separation of powers, or eminent domain law. Then that will be the topic for a bit.

But yeah, it's a bad idea to discuss the value of legislative history.

Eta: this is directed at people who agree with the fed soc position on some but not all issues. It doesn't apply to liberal students just trying to get a hiring edge.


WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! what are the three principles? I'm now very interested. Fed Soc has principles?


1. State exists to preserve freedom.
2. Separation of power is essential to constitutional order.
3. Judiciary should say what the law is, not what it ought to be.

-Former FedSoc Chapter Pres


Ok now my mind is blown cause I actually agree with all 3 of those... I guess it's in the application.

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:12 pm

LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm clerking for a (non-feeder) conservative judge who regularly participates in fed soc panels. I think some of the fears of being "sniffed out" as not conservative enough are avoidable. Yes, you want red soc on your resume but no one is going to grill you on how well you attend events/what the three principles are, etc. Also, an applicant can to a certain extent drive the conversation to areas where you are "sufficiently conservative" even if you aren't across the board. For instance, you can bring up federalism, or national security, or police deference, or textualism, or separation of powers, or eminent domain law. Then that will be the topic for a bit.

But yeah, it's a bad idea to discuss the value of legislative history.

Eta: this is directed at people who agree with the fed soc position on some but not all issues. It doesn't apply to liberal students just trying to get a hiring edge.


WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! what are the three principles? I'm now very interested. Fed Soc has principles?


1. State exists to preserve freedom.
2. Separation of power is essential to constitutional order.
3. Judiciary should say what the law is, not what it ought to be.

-Former FedSoc Chapter Pres


Ok now my mind is blown cause I actually agree with all 3 of those... I guess it's in the application.


I think everyone agrees with them (in theory). The problem is that we've found out in practice that the inverse of what the founding fathers expected has happened with this country. In England, the central government was responsible for the abuses and abridging freedoms. Thus, they worried that the U.S. federal government would have the same problems. However, in practice, we've found that the states are often the ones abridging freedoms and infringing upon Constitutional rights.

Accordingly, the notion of federalism as it existed at the time of creation of this country has been proven wrong in practice. That is what inevitably led to the Fourteenth Amendment.

Anyways, I'm going to stop here. I'm sure y'all are aware. My belief in that is why I couldn't be a member of the Federal Society. :lol:

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby rpupkin » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:05 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm clerking for a (non-feeder) conservative judge who regularly participates in fed soc panels. I think some of the fears of being "sniffed out" as not conservative enough are avoidable. Yes, you want red soc on your resume but no one is going to grill you on how well you attend events/what the three principles are, etc. Also, an applicant can to a certain extent drive the conversation to areas where you are "sufficiently conservative" even if you aren't across the board. For instance, you can bring up federalism, or national security, or police deference, or textualism, or separation of powers, or eminent domain law. Then that will be the topic for a bit.

But yeah, it's a bad idea to discuss the value of legislative history.

Eta: this is directed at people who agree with the fed soc position on some but not all issues. It doesn't apply to liberal students just trying to get a hiring edge.


WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! what are the three principles? I'm now very interested. Fed Soc has principles?


1. State exists to preserve freedom.
2. Separation of power is essential to constitutional order.
3. Judiciary should say what the law is, not what it ought to be.

-Former FedSoc Chapter Pres


Ok now my mind is blown cause I actually agree with all 3 of those... I guess it's in the application.


I think everyone agrees with them (in theory). The problem is that we've found out in practice that the inverse of what the founding fathers expected has happened with this country. In England, the central government was responsible for the abuses and abridging freedoms. Thus, they worried that the U.S. federal government would have the same problems. However, in practice, we've found that the states are often the ones abridging freedoms and infringing upon Constitutional rights.

I'm missing something: what does your response have to do with the three principles listed above?

lavarman84

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:59 pm

rpupkin wrote:
lavarman84 wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm clerking for a (non-feeder) conservative judge who regularly participates in fed soc panels. I think some of the fears of being "sniffed out" as not conservative enough are avoidable. Yes, you want red soc on your resume but no one is going to grill you on how well you attend events/what the three principles are, etc. Also, an applicant can to a certain extent drive the conversation to areas where you are "sufficiently conservative" even if you aren't across the board. For instance, you can bring up federalism, or national security, or police deference, or textualism, or separation of powers, or eminent domain law. Then that will be the topic for a bit.

But yeah, it's a bad idea to discuss the value of legislative history.

Eta: this is directed at people who agree with the fed soc position on some but not all issues. It doesn't apply to liberal students just trying to get a hiring edge.


WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! what are the three principles? I'm now very interested. Fed Soc has principles?


1. State exists to preserve freedom.
2. Separation of power is essential to constitutional order.
3. Judiciary should say what the law is, not what it ought to be.

-Former FedSoc Chapter Pres


Ok now my mind is blown cause I actually agree with all 3 of those... I guess it's in the application.


I think everyone agrees with them (in theory). The problem is that we've found out in practice that the inverse of what the founding fathers expected has happened with this country. In England, the central government was responsible for the abuses and abridging freedoms. Thus, they worried that the U.S. federal government would have the same problems. However, in practice, we've found that the states are often the ones abridging freedoms and infringing upon Constitutional rights.

I'm missing something: what does your response have to do with the three principles listed above?


I'm assuming the first principle implicitly is referencing federalism.

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rpupkin

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby rpupkin » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:10 pm

lavarman84 wrote:
rpupkin wrote:
lavarman84 wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I'm clerking for a (non-feeder) conservative judge who regularly participates in fed soc panels. I think some of the fears of being "sniffed out" as not conservative enough are avoidable. Yes, you want red soc on your resume but no one is going to grill you on how well you attend events/what the three principles are, etc. Also, an applicant can to a certain extent drive the conversation to areas where you are "sufficiently conservative" even if you aren't across the board. For instance, you can bring up federalism, or national security, or police deference, or textualism, or separation of powers, or eminent domain law. Then that will be the topic for a bit.

But yeah, it's a bad idea to discuss the value of legislative history.

Eta: this is directed at people who agree with the fed soc position on some but not all issues. It doesn't apply to liberal students just trying to get a hiring edge.


WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! what are the three principles? I'm now very interested. Fed Soc has principles?


1. State exists to preserve freedom.
2. Separation of power is essential to constitutional order.
3. Judiciary should say what the law is, not what it ought to be.

-Former FedSoc Chapter Pres


Ok now my mind is blown cause I actually agree with all 3 of those... I guess it's in the application.


I think everyone agrees with them (in theory). The problem is that we've found out in practice that the inverse of what the founding fathers expected has happened with this country. In England, the central government was responsible for the abuses and abridging freedoms. Thus, they worried that the U.S. federal government would have the same problems. However, in practice, we've found that the states are often the ones abridging freedoms and infringing upon Constitutional rights.

I'm missing something: what does your response have to do with the three principles listed above?


I'm assuming the first principle implicitly is referencing federalism.

Oh, you're reading "state" as in "one of the fifty states." But I think #1 refers to "state" in a more general sense—i.e., the purpose of the government (whether that government be national, state, or local) is to preserve freedom. It's the same meaning of "state" that folks use in social-contract theory.

Now, it's also true that the Federalist Society is big on federalism, but I don't think that's what principle #1 is about.

lavarman84

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby lavarman84 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:19 pm

rpupkin wrote:Now, it's also true that the Federalist Society is big on federalism, but I don't think that's what principle #1 is about.


Fair enough. I'm just interpreting it that way because proponents of federalism usually argue that the states preserve our freedoms by limiting the power of the federal government (via the powers reserved to them in the Constitution). Anyways, my rant wasn't important. Carry on. :lol:

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:26 pm

Myself and many of my bona fide FedSoc friends went hard in the paint re: FedSoc membership and clerkship applications and it worked out well -- Gorsuch, Pryor, Griffith, J. Smith, E. Jones, Thapar, Tymkovich, etc. That's not to say that membership is a requirement for certain judges, but it creates an instant connection with judges who share similar views, particularly for students at the top of their classes. As others have said, judges, lawyers, and students that have FedSoc views are in the minority, and thus gravitate toward each other.

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:28 am

Anonymous User wrote:Myself and many of my bona fide FedSoc friends went hard in the paint re: FedSoc membership and clerkship applications and it worked out well -- Gorsuch, Pryor, Griffith, J. Smith, E. Jones, Thapar, Tymkovich, etc. That's not to say that membership is a requirement for certain judges, but it creates an instant connection with judges who share similar views, particularly for students at the top of their classes. As others have said, judges, lawyers, and students that have FedSoc views are in the minority, and thus gravitate toward each other.


That's awesome. I went the liberal route since I don't fit in Fed Soc so it was harder. Liberals scream equity and fairness, but turns out I needed to know the judge's family member or close friend just to get an interview :D Merit never felt so random and unfair.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:48 am

I'm not sure how selecting for FedSoc views is more about merit.

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:43 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:I'm not sure how selecting for FedSoc views is more about merit.


Everyone has a chance to join and it's easy to do so. But it's near impossible to know a judge's friend/relative or get an "in" that way.

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:25 am

LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I'm not sure how selecting for FedSoc views is more about merit.

Everyone has a chance to join and it's easy to do so. But it's near impossible to know a judge's friend/relative or get an "in" that way.

Except that if you don't actually agree with the FedSoc you're not actually going to benefit from joining (unless you're saying you're willing to fake your beliefs entirely to get a job) - judges who hire for FedSoc don't want FedSoc members per se, they want conservative clerks. That's not any more about merit than other kinds of hiring.

As for connections with judges, they're not impossible to get at all. Most people get those through their school, by impressing profs through their performance in class, or maybe through a job by working with someone the judge knows. Most people aren't actually getting clerkships through personal friendships/family relationships. (I'm not going to say none, but that's absolutely true for every job out there.)

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:07 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:I'm not sure how selecting for FedSoc views is more about merit.

Everyone has a chance to join and it's easy to do so. But it's near impossible to know a judge's friend/relative or get an "in" that way.

Except that if you don't actually agree with the FedSoc you're not actually going to benefit from joining (unless you're saying you're willing to fake your beliefs entirely to get a job) - judges who hire for FedSoc don't want FedSoc members per se, they want conservative clerks. That's not any more about merit than other kinds of hiring.

As for connections with judges, they're not impossible to get at all. Most people get those through their school, by impressing profs through their performance in class, or maybe through a job by working with someone the judge knows. Most people aren't actually getting clerkships through personal friendships/family relationships. (I'm not going to say none, but that's absolutely true for every job out there.)


Joining FedSoc casts a wider net than just finding ONE judge's friend and then working for them to get to know them. The whole suck up to your professor is nonsensical. Professors have a million things to do and I'd guess rather not be bothered or have their time wasted by fake charm. And even if they are open to it, there's not much you can do in one semester. So your recommender basically has to give you a rec for your grade, especially since apps are due earlier and earlier so you can't really get to know a prof for more than your 1L year. This is all beside the point cause there should be a more objectively reasonable process that doesn't require multiple letters of rec, a prof call, or membership in some society. But as far as what's more effective now, based on people's responses here, joining fed soc and putting it on your app at least just for the conservative judges will help more so than trying to locate one judge's friend, trusted prof, networking alone, etc. Sure, it might not be your views, but who cares? Why should you be declined a job that requires political activism to not play a role just cause you're not the right political fit? That's like an employer who can't hire based on gender checking applicants for Adam's apples.

Edit: I'm not saying lie during interviews. I'm saying I'm sure you can agree one at meast one tiny thing fedsoc teaches even if it's on the broadest level. There. You fit into fedsoc. Now if you're asked during interviews on specific questions answer them honestly but at keast you got the interview.

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:49 am

Finding "one tiny thing that FedSoc teaches" you agree with isn't going to get you the job, and getting the interview isn't going to do any good if the judge actually wants conservative beliefs (which is why they'd select for FedSoc in the first place). I also don't think you get what I meant by connections (you don't look for one judge's specific friend) or how getting to know your profs works. You don't "fake charm" profs, you treat them like human beings and get to know them like you get to know other human beings.

Also political alliegiance isn't actually the same as gender.

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Re: Federalist Society and Clerkships

Postby AT9 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:10 am

I'm a FedSoc member who you'd probably call a "true believer." I initially though it would be better to leave FedSoc (and a couple other potentially conservative flags) off my resume for the practical purpose of not screening myself out of any interviews. However, I opted for keeping it because I wouldn't want to end up clerking for someone who would have eliminated me based on my judicial/political philosophies. Like most people, I'm fine working with people who disagree with my views--but I wouldn't want to be in a position where I felt like I'd have to keep my views on the down-low.

FWIW, I ended up getting a SSC (so maybe my input isn't as relevant) with a conservative-leaning judge, though I was never asked about political views or judicial philosophies. Obviously there are valid arguments on either side, but my perspective is that it's best to keep FedSoc and other politically-slanted groups on your resume as long as (1) you are genuine about your interest in the group and (2) the group isn't extreme. This has the benefit of serving as a possible plus to judges/employers who value those views while eliminating the few judges/employers who wouldn't want to work with you based on those views.

And this has already been stated ITT, but FedSoc is powerful because it's essentially the only avenue for conservative legal academics and practitioners. Plus it has a number of heavy-hitters like Scalia, Gorsuch, Thomas (plus Robers/Alito?), several prominent COA judges, and lots of Fed Dist. Ct. judges and SSC justices. Most law schools (especially faculty) lean heavily left, so there are a lot of other specialized student orgs that tend to signal various liberal/social-justic-y views (LGBTQ groups, BLSA, ACA, etc.).



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