Conservative confab: FL governor, AG are featured legal Federalist Society speakers

The Florida chapter of the Federalist Society, the powerful organization of conservative lawyers, will meet this weekend in Orlando, and its renewed influence on policy and law Sunshine State will be on display.

Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody will the main speakers on Friday night at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort in Lake Buena Vista.

On Saturday, five of the seven members of the newly configured Florida Supreme Court will be in attendance, including the three appointed by DeSantis over the past few weeks: Carlos Muniz, Barbara Logoa and Robert L. Luck. Chief Justice Charles Canady and Justice C. Alan Lewis will also make an appearance.

The keynote speaker on Saturday will be Kenneth Starr, the former solicitor general of the U.S. best known as the independent counsel who investigated former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

There will also be a couple of panel discussions, where the topics include religious liberty, redistricting and stare decisis. The latter is Latin for “stand by things decided,” or the doctrine of precedent.

In writing about the legal philosophy of the Federalist Society earlier this month, the Phoenix referenced the 2013 book, The Federalist Society: How Conservatives took the Law Back from Liberals, written by attorneys Michael Avery and Danielle McLaughlin.

According to the book, Federalist Society lawyers in government and in conservative public interest firms have moved to “challenge government regulation of the economy; roll back affirmative action; invalidate laws providing access to the courts by aggrieved workers, consumers, and environmentalists; expand state support for religious institutions and programs; oppose marriage equality; increase statutory impediments to women’s ability to obtain an abortion; defend state’s rights; increase presidential power; and otherwise advance a broad conservative agenda.”

Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry has spent the past 18 years covering news and politics in the Sunshine State, most recently with He worked for five years as the political editor of Creative Loafing in Tampa, and before that he was the assistant news director at WMNF radio, where he served as creator/anchor/producer of the hour-long WMNF Evening News. A San Francisco native, Mitch began his career at KPFA Radio in Berkeley in the 1990's.


  1. Florida Ethics Commission is an arm of the Republican Party of Florida. Findings are manufactured to suit the political goals of the Party rather than expose corruption. Case in point is how the FEC handled the complaint [email protected] Columbia/Suwanee American Cement permit approval AFTER initial denial by FDEP and donation of $500,000 to Republican Party of Florida by the company during JEB! Administration. Money buys results…

  2. Why are you presenting a one-sided report? President Obama’s White House Counsel is also speaking at the conference [see below for a more complete list]. The Federalist Society is nonpartisan. The organization has never taken a policy position on anything, nor has it ever endorsed a candidate for political or judicial office. Notable participants in Florida Federalist Society events in recent years include many Democrats and liberals, in keeping with the Society’s educational mission. I tried to list many of them here, but was informed, “Your comment is too long. Please try to be more concise.”
    All seven Supreme Court Justices were invited to the 2019 Conference. In 2018 Gwen Graham and Sean Shaw were invited to speak at the Florida Federalist Society Conference. “Quality Journalism” is your motto. Time to start living up to it!


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