Members of the ultra-conservative legal group, the Federalist Society, announced Wednesday that they were forming an anti-Trump subgroup within the organization calling itself the Checks and Balances.

The group includes high ranking members of the Bush administration like former Bush lawyer John Bellinger, former Acting Attorney General Peter Keisler and former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.

Most notably however, George Conway, husband of top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, has emerged as a key figure and likely leader of the group.

Conway has been known to be critical of the Trump administration, a fact made plain by his recent New York Times op-ed where he called President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General “unconstitutional.”

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter!

A week of political news in your in-box.
We find the news you need to know, so you don't have to.

“We are a group of attorneys who would traditionally be considered conservative or libertarian. We believe in the rule of law, the power of truth, the independence of the criminal justice system, the imperative of individual rights, and the necessity of civil discourse,” reads the group’s mission statement.

Ten others were named in the list of Checks and Balances members published in mission statement.

Checks and Balances’ announcement came just a day before the annual Federalist Society meeting in Washington D.C., a move meant to send a message to and encourage recruitment of the members of the larger group.

“You go fishing where the fish are,” said Jonathan Adler, a law professor and member of Checks and Balances told the Times.


Over the course of the last two years, the Federalist Society developed a very strong relationship with President Trump. The organization’s recommendations played a large part in the president’s decisions to nominate Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Regardless of this, members of Checks and Balances believe that the Trump administration poses a danger to the fundamental nature and security of the Constitution.

Bellinger, Conway and other members of the conservative subgroup hope their presence at the Federalist Society meeting will encourage others to speak plainly about the current administration without fear of retaliation.

Read more about:

Get the free uPolitics mobile app for the latest political news and videos

iPhone Android

Leave a comment