Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Earlier this month, a law professor and his former student urged Republicans to increase the size of the federal judiciary by 33 percent, allowing President Trump to appoint 261 new judges, on a party-line vote if necessary. Like most legal scholarship, this proposal was destined to fall by the wayside, but for the identity of its lead author: Steven G. Calabresi, a law professor at Northwestern University, and the co-founder and chairman of the Federalist Society. Yes, the same Federalist Society that has played an essential role in President Trump’s highly successful judicial-nomination strategy. Were Calabresi’s memorandum in fact the official position of the Society, it would indeed be huge news. But it’s not. Not even close. As a non-profit organization, the Society does not, and indeed cannot, lobby in support of legislation. More foundationally, Calabresi’s position does not have anywhere near the monolithic support in conservative legal circles that editorialists in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Slate would suggest. As a member of the Federalist Society who often speaks at its events, I can write in complete candor that this proposal is ill-considered and should be discarded.
Sounds like a good idea to me.