The Appalachian School of Law Federalist Society
The Appalachian School of Law Federalist Society is a student chapter of the national organization -- The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies -- that has student chapters at all ABA-accredited law schools.
The Purpose Statement of the national organization provides:
- Law schools and the legal profession are currently strongly dominated by a form of orthodox liberal ideology which advocates a centralized and uniform society. While some members of the academic community have dissented from these views, by and large they are taught simultaneously with (and indeed as if they were) the law.
- The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.
- This [goal] entails reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law. It also requires restoring the recognition of the importance of these norms among lawyers, judges, law students and professors. In working to achieve these goals, the Society has created a conservative and libertarian intellectual network that extends to all levels of the legal community.
The Mission Statement of the ASL Chapter
The Constitution of the Federalist Society at ASL simply states:
"The mission of this association is to promote a conservative/originalist interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. This group shall encourage thoughtful debate and awareness of the current events in constitutional law."
Membership is open to any and all ASL students and alumni, and active members are those persons who attend at least two meetings. The chapter Constitution expressly includes a non-discrimination clause.
Sponsored Events and Activities
The ASL Federalist Society is best known for its substantive presentations on constitutional issues of the day. It brings prominent conservative and libertarian politicians, lawyers, and legal scholars to campus for debates on issues of constitutional interpretation and policy.
Later this semester, the Federalist Society at ASL will host debates on the meaning of the constitution, the role of polygraph testing in federal employment, and whether affirmative action remains constitutionally possible after the Fischer decision.
Most recently, it hosted Julie Blake -- of the West Virginia Attorney General's Office -- who spoke to members over lunch about what federalism is. She also gave members information on how to seek a career in public service.
Associate Professor Alan Oxford serves as the faculty advisor for this group.