Federalists vs. American constitutionalists

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Thumbnail sketches of two legal societies at the forefront of the current debate in Washington D.C.:

Founded
Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies: 1982

American Constitution Society for Law and Policy: 2001

Mission
Federalist Society: "The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians dedicated to reforming the current legal order. We are committed to 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."

American Constitution Society: "ACS is committed to fostering a progressive vision of the law on issues such as access to the courts; anti-discrimination and affirmative action; civil liberties; consumer rights; criminal justice; disability rights; freedom of speech; gay rights; international human rights; immigration; labor law; open government; privacy; protection of health, safety and the environment; and women's rights and reproductive choice."

Chapters
Federalist Society: 185 student and 70 lawyer chapters.

American Constitution Society: 127 student and 19 lawyer chapters.

Leadership
Federalist Society: Steven G. Calabresi and David M. McIntosh, national co-chairmen; Eugene B. Meyer, president.

American Constitution Society: Teresa Wynn Roseborough, chair of Board of Directors; Lisa Brown, executive director.

Featured speakers
Federalist Society: Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas; U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; Sen. John Cornyn, R.-Tex., former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese; former U.S. Circuit Judge Robert Bork.

American Constitution Society: Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer; Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.; former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C.; Harvard Professor Laurence H. Tribe; Elaine Jones, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Funding
Federalist Society: John M. Olin Foundation, Inc.; Sarah Scaife Foundation; Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, among others.

American Constitution Society: Ford Foundation; Open Society Institute; Drew Creek Foundation, among others.

Web sites
Federalist Society: www.fed-soc.org.

American Constitution Society: www.americanconstitutionsociety.org.



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