Tags: Supreme Court | leonard leo | supreme court | influence | vacancies

Federalist Society's Leonard Leo Having 'Incredible' Influence on SCOTUS

Federalist Society's Leonard Leo Having 'Incredible' Influence on SCOTUS
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By    |   Tuesday, 03 July 2018 12:21 PM

An influential member of the legal community is one of the driving forces behind three recent Supreme Court appointments, and his impact on an upcoming vacancy is already clear.

Leonard Leo, the executive vice president of The Federalist Society, helped former President George W. Bush get John Roberts and Samuel Alito on the bench. He compiled a list of potential justices for President Donald Trump, a list that included Neil Gorsuch — who was confirmed as an associate justice in 2017.

With Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy retiring at the end of this month, Leo is again working with the White House to come up with a nominee.

HuffPost reported on the role Leo is playing as Trump consults a list of 25 potential nominees — which he has whittled down to around seven — ahead of a planned nomination announcement on July 9.

"It's incredible," University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias told HuffPost of Leo's influence on the Supreme Court. "Certainly, he's had an outsize influence for any one person. I know President George W. Bush relied on him a fair amount for two nominees, and in this administration, I don't think there's ever been anything quite like it."

Leo told The Wall Street Journal that he and Kennedy spoke in June before the news of the latest Supreme Court vacancy was made public. The pair talked about potential replacements and the future of the U.S. court system at the wedding of a mutual friend.

"We had a good conversation about having judges appointed to the court of appeals and the district court," Leo told the Journal. "He was very proud to be among his former law clerks."

The Federalist Society focuses on recruiting conservative law students and helping them eventually land them jobs as judges and as public figures. The goal is to get as many right-leaning people in power as possible.

"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," the organization's website reads.

"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."

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An influential member of the legal community is one of the driving forces behind three recent Supreme Court appointments, and his impact on an upcoming vacancy is already clear.
leonard leo, supreme court, influence, vacancies
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2018-21-03
Tuesday, 03 July 2018 12:21 PM
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