WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Codes of Conduct requesting additional information on draft advisory opinion No. 117, which would bar federal judges from membership in the Federalist Society or the American Constitution Society.

Excerpts from the letter:  

“The Judicial Conference’s Committee on Codes of Conduct is considering a draft advisory opinion, No. 117, that would effectively bar federal judges from membership in the Federalist Society or the American Constitution Society (ACS). Consistent with the Judiciary Committee’s oversight jurisdiction pursuant to the Rules of the House of Representatives, I write to request additional information about this draft advisory opinion.”

“The draft advisory opinion discriminates against the viewpoints of members of the judiciary who chose to associate with the Federalist Society. For this reason, nearly 30 Members of Congress and over 200 federal judges have also expressed concern with the draft advisory opinion. While the draft opinion is not yet finalized, questions remain about the basis for and origin of this opinion and its drafting process. As such, I respectfully request that the Judicial Conference provide the following information and material:

1. Please explain whether the Committee on Codes of Conduct was unanimous in its support for its draft advisory opinion No. 117.

2. Please explain why the Committee on Codes of Conduct believed it necessary to issues a new draft advisory opinion changing its position on judicial membership to organizations such as the ACS or Federalist Society.

3. Please explain whether any members of the Committee on Codes of Conduct are members of the ABA, ACS, or Federalist Society.

4. Please produce all drafts prepared, considered, or exchanged by the Committee on Codes of Conduct for  draft advisory opinion No. 117.

5. Please produce all minutes, notes, or other memorialization of all meetings of the Committee on Codes of Conduct referring or relating to draft advisory opinion No. 117.”

“We ask that the Judicial Conference provide this information as soon as possible but no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 1, 2020. In addition, I ask that the Judicial Conference be prepared to provide a briefing to the Committee about the drafting of draft advisory opinion No. 117 upon production of the documents and information requested above.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.

###