Judge Aileen Cannon said she had been a member of the Federalist Society since 2005 in her application for her position. The Federalist Society is a group of conservative judges. Cannon’s bias has been called into question as she was thrust into the spotlight in hearings on the investigation into former President Donald Trump and documents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
Cannon ordered a halt on the Department of Justice review of evidence seized from the estate on Monday, September 5, 2022, citing a possible threat caused by potential media leaks in the case. Read the full order here.
“Plaintiff faces an unquantifiable potential harm by way of improper disclosure of sensitive information to the public,” Cannon wrote in the 24-page ruling.
Here’s what you need to know:
Cannon Was Appointed By Trump in 2020 & Is a Federalist Society Member
Cannon wrote in her 24-page application for her current role as federal judge that she became a member of the Federalist Society in 2005. The application to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary for U.S District Court Judge in southern Florida position required her to list “all professional, business, fraternal, scholarly, civic, charitable, or other organizations.”
The other memberships she listed were the Delta Delta Delta Fraternity, the Duke University Alumni Association, The Moorings Yacht & Country Club, Order of the Coif at The University of Michigan Law School, and The University of Michigan Law School Alumni Association.
Cannon was appointed by Trump to her position as U.S. District Court Judge in 2020 following a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Cannon Has Been Criticized for Potential Bias Due to Her Political Background
Cannon’s bias has been called into question as she renders critical rulings on the investigation into evidence seized from Trump’s estate.
“Aileen Cannon, a 38-year old lawyer and member of the Federalist Society with no prior judicial experience, was hand-picked by Marco Rubio, further blessed by Rick Scott and then nominated by Trump. Can’t imagine that was a factor when Trump went judge shopping,” Peter Vroom wrote on Twitter.
The Federalist Society’s website says it was founded in 1982 as “a group of conservatives and libertarians dedicated to reforming the current legal order.”
“The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order,” the organization’s page says. “It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.”
The website includes commendations from conservative leaders including former President Ronald Reagan and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
“The Federalist Society is changing the culture of our nation’s law schools,” Reagan said, according to the website. “You are returning the values and concepts of law as our founders understood them to scholarly dialogue, and through that dialogue, to our legal institutions.”