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Sunday, September 24, 2017
HomeAlaska NewsFederalist Society’s Leonard Leo keynotes religious liberty dinner

Federalist Society’s Leonard Leo keynotes religious liberty dinner

Alaska Family Council’s annual Religious Liberty Dinner features Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society, which advances limited, constitutional government.

The event is at 7 pm, Sept. 15, at O’Malley’s on the Green in Anchorage. The New Yorker Magazine described Leo as an “impresario,” and one of the most influential people in forming the conservative side of the U.S. Supreme Court — “a convener and a networker, and he has met and cultivated almost every important Republican lawyer in more than a generation.”

“When Leonard walks in that room, everyone knows who he is,” Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network, another conservative organization that worked on the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch said to the reporter. “If you care about the conservative legal movement, you always take note of Leonard.”

Leo has advised President Donald Trump on judicial selection, helped to manage the Justice Gorsuch selection and confirmation process, and served as a member of the transition team.

“At the Gorsuch hearings, which took place in the Hart Senate Office Building, Leo acted as the unofficial mayor of the room. Sometimes he sat in the back, so that he could kibbitz with reporters, and sometimes he sat up front, behind Trump Administration officials,” the New Yorker wrote.

He organized the outside coalition efforts in support of the John Roberts and Samuel Alito U.S. Supreme Court confirmations, and, in 2004, was the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign’s Catholic strategist.

Leonard was appointed by President George W. Bush to three terms to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, where he served as chairman. He was also a U.S. Delegate to the UN Council and UN Commission on Human Rights during the Bush Administration.

He was awarded the 2009 Bradley Prize, along with the other founders and directors of the Federalist Society, for his work in advancing freedom and the rule of law.

He is the coeditor of Presidential Leadership: Rating the Best and the Worst in the White House, as well as the author of opinions in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.

Leonard holds degrees from Cornell University and Cornell Law School. He resides in Northern Virginia, where he and his wife Sally have raised their seven children.

[Read: The New Yorker’s, “Conservative Pipeline to the Supreme Court”]

Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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