Organization will focus on educating Americans about threats to the rule of law, recruiting members who support the Constitution and defend democracy regardless of party, and hosting events to build a nationwide movement.
WASHINGTON – November 6, 2023 – Today the organization formerly known as Checks & Balances re-launched as the Society for the Rule of Law. This marks a major nationwide expansion aimed at protecting the Constitution and building a broad-based movement of conservative and center-right legal practitioners, scholars, and law students committed to defending the rule of law from mounting threats.
The Society was originally launched in 2018 by a group of center-right, pro-democracy attorneys who were alarmed by the direction of the conservative legal movement. Its leadership includes attorney George Conway, former Judge J. Michael Luttig, former Rep. Barbara Comstock, former Acting Attorney General Stuart Gerson, and former Reagan White House lawyer Alan Raul. Its membership includes dozens of other former elected officials and high-ranking appointees who served in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.
The unprecedented legal challenges around the 2020 election and its aftermath created the need for pro-democracy voices within the conservative legal community willing to support and defend the Constitution. To answer that call, the Society is expanding its operations to encompass the following core areas:
- Educating Americans about the direct threats to democracy and the rule of law posed by certain elements within the conservative legal movement, including those that tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
- Expanded events and programming aimed at engaging those in the legal community and law schools in the vital work of supporting and preserving America’s legal institutions from those actively working to undermine them.
- A nationwide membership society, including conservative and center-right law students, scholars, and legal practitioners committed to the rule of law.
To mark the re-launch, the Society is hosting the first annual Rule of Law Summit in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, November 8 at 6 pm ET. This event will focus on bringing together pro-democracy lawyers from across the country to build ties, identify threats, and develop strategies for tackling the challenges confronting the American Constitutional system and legal norms going forward. It is open to the public and the media; register here.
In addition to the Summit, the Society’s expansion will include 1.) a nationwide tour of law school and university campuses, aimed at engaging students and scholars; and 2.) a tiered membership program that offers benefits and opportunities for dues-paying members, including regular virtual and in-person convenings exploring key questions around the rule of law, such as our recent webinar on the applicability of Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment.
“The clear and present danger posed to our Constitutional order by misguided partisans seeking to undermine and subvert the rule of law demands a compelling response from pro-democracy lawyers,” said Alan Raul, Board Secretary of the Society for the Rule of Law. “The Society for the Rule of Law is an important part of that response. We are living in a time when many of the rules and norms we have taken for granted—the sanctity of elections, the independence of the courts, the rule of law itself—are under sustained assault. Defending them is our highest priority.”
“The conservative legal movement as it currently exists has failed to stave off the worst excesses of bad-faith actors working to subvert the Constitution for their own ends,” said Stuart Gerson, Board Treasurer of the Society for the Rule of Law. “It’s time for a new Constitutional champion. By cultivating the rising generation of legal talent in defense of our founding principles, the Society will play a key role in securing all Americans’ liberties through the troubled times ahead—and for years to come.”
The Society’s leadership also includes an Advisory Council of former senior lawyers in the Reagan and both Bush Administrations: Donald Ayer, Peter Keisler, Jonathan Rose, and Michael Shepherd. The Society is non-partisan, and does not engage in political activities.
To be connected with the Society’s leadership, or with questions relating to the Rule of Law Summit, contact Tony Franquiz at [email protected] or 443-243-6366.
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