Rewriting the Constitution
The effort from Soros to change the laws and Constitution to his view of what America should be is being funded through $500,000 worth of grants to the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy (see here & here), a $270,000 grant (here) for support of the Constitution in the 21st Century project, a $156,500 grant (here) to support a "teach-in" on judicial appointments, as well as a $50,000 grant (here) for The Constitution in 2020 project at Yale University. I guess the moral of the story is that Soros has about $1 million in grant money for just about anybody willing to work for a more activist court system.
I originally ran across the American Constitution Society for Law & Policy when I found a few interesting blog entries on the ACS Blog. According to their Blog, the ACS is "one of the nation’s leading progressive legal organizations" with "over 100 law school and lawyer chapters all across the country."
Under their "Organization" entry, you can find this mission statement:
Promote a progressive vision of the Constitution, the law and public policy through speaking programs, an annual convention, a speakers bureau of leading scholars and practitioners, media outreach, and publications designed to turn the tide of legal debate both locally and nationally.
Turning the "tide" on the legal debate...? Seems like this is just another Soros-funded effort to push a progressive agenda for the courts for lawsuits, lawsuits, and more lawsuits. If you think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, just check out the organization's list of issues, which lists "access to the courts" and "consumer rights" as two of their top agendas.
You can check out the Constitution in 2020 Conference website for yourself. One seminar was to include Charles Sabel, a Columbia Law School professor who teaches a law class on New Forms of Public Interest Advocacy, which explores "new strategies for reforming public institutions through law." His (not so) inviting website carries the tag, "This website, and everything on it, is copyrighted. We are lawyers. We sue." Really...
The ACS has student chapters at the UIUC, UChicago, and Kent law schools, as well as a lawyer chapter in Chicago. The UChicago chapter seems to be the only super-functioning chapter in this state and their events have included speakers such as federal Judge Milton Shadur of IL's Northern District. (Be sure to check out their photo gallery for the Janet Reno dance.) On the ACS Board of Directors you'll find former ATLA President Fred Baron of Baron & Budd (the SimmonsCooper partner in Madison County asbestos litigation). Isn't it scary to think that Soros is funding organizations that are starting student law school groups to promote the trial lawyer view of activist courts?
If Soros is willing to pay organizations such as the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform to support their effort to silence anyone who criticizes the courts, certainly there's more Soros funding to help reform our Constitution, as well. Perhaps they'll change the First Amendment to read: "Free Speech for Me, But Not for Thee" (borrowing a quote from NY Post editor Ryan Sager).
Remember, the trial lawyers and their support groups are more than free to criticize the President and Congress for their efforts to reign in lawsuits, but hell-hath-no-fury like a progressive group condemning a tort reform organization for questioning the contributions/relationships/influence between judicial candidates and the trial lawyers.