Monday, July 25, 2005

I have no idea how my name ended up in that leadership directory

Must've been a typo by that ultra-conservative group's secretary. Yeah, that passes the BS test. This White House is fairly brazen in their deception strategies, let's see how they run with this latest nugget regarding their Supreme Court nominee. This is a long excerpt mostly because what's being argued here is so silly, the upshot being: "I'm not really part of this society, even though I went to meetings, was part of a committee, and appeared in their leadership directory, cuz I didn't pay dues."

Federalist Society Executive Vice President Leonard A. Leo said that either he or another official of the organization recruited Roberts for the committee. Roberts's task was to serve "as a point of contact within the firm to let people know what is going on" with the organization. "It doesn't meet, it doesn't do a whole lot. The only thing we expect of them is to make sure people in the firm know about us," Leo said.

Membership in the sense of paying dues was not required as a condition of inclusion in a listing of the society's leadership, Leo said. He declined to say whether Roberts had ever paid dues, citing a policy of keeping membership information confidential.

Whelan, who has been a member of the Federalist Society but said he had no recollection of his own membership on the steering committee, said the society is tolerant of those who come to its meetings or serve on committees without paying dues.

"John Roberts probably realized pretty quickly he could take part in activities he wanted to" without being current on his dues, Whelan said.

These may seem like fine distinctions, but Roberts has insisted on them. In 2001, after he was nominated by President Bush for the seat he currently holds on the court of appeals, Roberts spoke to Post reporter James V. Grimaldi and asked him to correct an item Grimaldi had written that described Roberts as a member of the Federalist Society. In a subsequent column, Grimaldi wrote that Roberts "is not and never has been a member of the Federalist Society, as previous reported in this column."
Being a part of some ultra-right wing society is one thing, finely parsing your relationship with it and then actively attempting to deceive reporters and others on it is another matter. Have a feeling we'll be hearing much more on this. Read and decide.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 7:48 AM

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