Bench Memos

Georgetown Federalist Society Students Win Special Award

Jess Bravin reports that the Georgetown Law student chapter of the Federalist Society has honored Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson with a “Lifetime Service Award.” Such a student award would ordinarily go unnoticed by top journalists, except Judge Wilkinson used the platform to reiterate his view that it would be improper for the Supreme Court to overturn Obamacare.  

Judge Wilkinson’s stump speech on this issue fails to give meaning to the Court’s role in invalidating congressional acts that conflict with the text and original meaning of the Constitution. And it is somewhat bizarre that he has made himself a lightning rod in the debate over Obamacare given the serious ethical questions it raises for a sitting judge to weigh in on a pending case. But I am reserving my special Bizarre Achievement Award for the Federalist Society students at Georgetown, who, knowing all of that — and the fact that Judge Wilkinson has become one of the harshest public critics of originalism – still decided to single him out for honor.  

Carrie Severino — Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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