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Introduction to the Federalist Society 2002 symposium on law and truth; banquet panel on the founding of the Federalist Society.

In looking back at the founding of the Federalist Society as a conservative law student organization it is clear that Steve Calabresi, Lee Liberman Otis, and Gary Lawson were the intellectual powerhouses who put together the original symposiums. Spence Abraham and my jobs were to take care of logistics and organization. There are a few funny episodes that happened along the way.

For the most part we all talked through and agreed on everything. However, as we began to institutionalize the Federalist Society the question of what to name the new organization turned out to be an issue we could not easily resolve. The Yale Chapter--much like the small states at the constitutional convention in Philadelphia--insisted that the name be the same one they called themselves: "The Federalist Society" Harvard, perhaps following in the tradition of the Massachusetts Founders, had a different idea. In the late 1970's many of them had already joined forces in the founding of the first conservative law journal--the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Spence Abraham, who was the founding publisher of the Harvard Journal and also a board member of the new national student organization, felt strongly that the name should be "The Society for Law and Public Policy." Finally after months of debate--mercifully by telephone rather than sequestered in Philadelphia--we reached a grand Federalist compromise. The full legal name of the organization would be "The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy." The first half of the name was the Yale and Chicago student chapters name. The second half of the name came from the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. We've been successful ever since.

Another question that came up at our founding was the adoption of an emblem. In this case everyone quickly resolved that a bust of James Madison should be prominently displayed in our material. After all he was the drafter of the United States Constitution and the great Federalist compromise that established our form of government. He was our hero. So, we commissioned a silhouette portrait of President James Madison. It is the one that you now see on all the Federalist Society brochures. We turned to Judge Bork's son, Charles Bork, who is also a fellow Yalie and quite enterprising. Charles took one look at James Madison's profile and declared that it was too ugly to be on any brochure. I am told that he gave President Madison a nose job, slightly altering it for the purposes of our materials. None of us knew this had happened, and we immediately approved the new portrait as something quite handsome. It has been with us ever since.

Many of you will go back after this conference to your respective law schools to continue to run your Federalist Society chapters. I hope you will take home from tonight's reminiscences a realization that the Federalist Society started as a law student organization and today still is very much at its core a law student organization. You are in many ways are the future of The Federalist Society.

We were blessed to participate in the founding of the Federalist society, but its future activities are what matter most. I share Madison's and the Founding Fathers' belief in Divine intervention in the affairs of man. In a more modest way, it was not by mere chance that the Federalist Society was created. The Society arrived on the scene during the heyday of the attack by legal realism and critical legal studies on our constitutional framework.

The Federalist Society has a mission to train young law students in the rule of law and the constitutional principles that have made this country so great. When you are finished with your schooling, our country will turn to you to fill the ranks of academia, to serve as government officials, and to lead your communities in the private sector. At the Federalist Society, we will ask that you put the skills and the knowledge that you have gained through participating in our activities in law school to work for a most noble cause: the perpetuation of freedom. After all, "to whom much is given, much is expected."

As Federalists, you should champion the principles of limited government in your work, in public service, and wherever life may take you. In so doing, you will help ensure that future generations may enjoy the blessings of liberty enshrined in our great constitution.

Thank you and God bless you.

HON. DAVID McINTOSH, Former Member of Congress (Indiana) and Partner, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw.
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Title Annotation:conservative law student organization
Author:McIntosh, David
Publication:Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Previous Article:Preface.
Next Article:The proliferation of legal truth. .

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