This weekend I tangled with some folks on Twitter because I had the temerity to tweet “Read this @Slate” with a link to Nicholas Wallace’s piece urging a boycott of the Federalist Society because it has not taken any actions to remove those in leadership positions who supporting Trump’s attempt to steal the election in 2020 or the violent insurrection in the Capitol.
I asked why the Federalist Society in particular did not disavow John Eastman, the former Chapman professor who represented Trump in his legally and factually frivolous and dangerous lawsuits to try to overturn the results of the election and who appeared at the Jan. 6 rally just before the insurrection. When the response I got was the the Federalist Society cannot police its members for orthodoxy, I wrote, “So what? There are some things beyond the pale and deserving condemnation. If @fedsoc had in leadership a Nazi sympathizer, you would rightly demand condemnation or quit.”
After writing this, someone sent me a direct message asking if I confirmed that John Eastman was still in a leadership position at FedSoc. (He was chair of the Federalism and Separation of Powers Practice Group—some apologists responding on Twitter tried to say this is not “really” a leadership position but it seems pretty prominent to me.) I had not heard that there had been a change in Eastman’s status, but there’s been an interesting change to his profile. Here’s how his profile read as recently as this March:
And here is how his profile reads now:
Was he removed, following controversy over how to treat people like him within FedSoc? Or are they just trying to hide his involvement in a leadership role, while still listing him as a contributor?
I understand from the person who contacted me that FedSoc used to list the leaders of these practice groups on the website, but I can find no such list now.
If FedSoc did the right thing, one would hope they would take credit for it, rather than making the change in the middle of the night. Inquiring minds want to know.