Eric Muller On Why The Federalist Society Is Indeed “Particularly Unusual” On Matters Of Race And Gender Diversity

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Here. Below is an excerpt:

What distinguishes the Federalist Society, I suggest, is that it, alone among legal scholars’ groups, is not uncomfortable with the patterns of gender disparity that Eugene has identified, and is therefore not interested in working against them in its speaker choices and management structure. (I note that scholars who wish to present at ASLH and ALEA must apply to do so, and that their programs therefore do not directly reflect those organizations’ invitation strategies. However, the organizations do screen the applications, approving some and declining others. I know from experience that gender and racial diversity are among the important criteria for ASLH; I suspect (but don’t know for sure) that something similar is at least in the mix for ALEA too.)

This difference between the Federalists and these other organizations should not be controversial or surprising. Declining to work against broad cultural patterns of bias against traditional American targets (racial minorities and women) is, as I have always understood it, a matter of ideological commitment for the Federalists, who view goals such as racial or gender balance as the “political correctness” of affirmative action. As Eugene, presumably speaking for the Federalist Society, rather derisively put it in the title of his opening comment in this discussion, “Here We Thought That Ideological Diversity Is Good Enough.” Gender and racial diversity are among the goals worth seeking for groups like ASLH and ALEA. For the Federalists, those goals are often matters of derision. They are instances of unfairness — a visiting on today’s white men of what they view as some prior generation’s sins against non-whites and women. They are unjust deviations from a color-blind and gender-blind system of pure “merit.”

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