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The secret handshake

It's a huge blunder that the White House (and perhaps also Judge Roberts) manufactured a controversy where there was none by so forcefully trying to distance the judge from the Federalist Society; as David Bernstein correctly notes on Volokh, being a Federalist Society member tells you nothing about an individual other than that he's not on the left. Instead, the result has been to make something innocuous seem shameful, as if it needed to be denied to avoid scandal. (Charlie Savage, "Conservatives defend Roberts's link to law group", Boston Globe, Jul. 26). In reference to Judge Roberts, and the mystery over his Federalist Society membership, the New York Times editorial board writes about "cloistered clubs who know the secret handshake." This is a sinister and unfair smear of a characterization. Here's the "secret handshake": a $50 check ($25 for non-profits or government employees). For this, I get a free subscription to the (publicly-available) Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and $5 off on (publicly-available) Federalist Society events, and sometimes not even the discount. (That last event was so cloistered, it was broadcast on C-SPAN.)



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.