WASHINGTON , Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following are the remarks prepared for delivery by Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Federalist Society:
Thank you for that introduction and for the opportunity to address this group. I have long had a deep respect for the Federalist Society and for its principles, and so I feel privileged to be here tonight.
For over 25 years, the members of this Society have committed themselves to vigorous and open debate about the pressing legal issues of our day and how they are to be resolved under the constant and durable provisions of our Constitution. The Federalist Society is committed to taking the Constitution seriously and understanding it to be a legal document, rather than an empty vessel to be filled by the policy preferences of those who happen to be wielding the pen at any given moment. On this evening, which I was told might be somber or sober, but which apparently turns out to be neither, I want to applaud your contributions to the Nation's legal culture, and your efforts, particularly over the past eight years, to elevate the discourse surrounding the most important legal and policy issues facing our Nation.
It is my privilege to be here tonight with such distinguished guests, including members of the Supreme Court and the judiciary. There are also dozens of lawyers here who have served their country during this Administration, some of whom have now returned to the private sector and some of whom I have had the pleasure of working with during my tenure. There are likely others in attendance who will have the opportunity to serve in the new administration. All of which is a testament to those who founded this society and who have a great deal to be proud of. The principles of the Society you founded have inspired a generation of lawyers, and, as evidenced by tonight's attendance, are now inspiring the next generation.
As we near the end of this Administration, and we approach the first transition that our government has seen since the attacks of September 11th 2001, I would like to focus on the successes of this Administration that relate to matters that concern this Society, the legacy that will remain when this Administration leaves office, and on a matter relating to our national security that I think should continue to receive the attention of this Society.
Perhaps of most obvious interest to the members of the Federalist Society are the judges and justices whom the President has appointed to the federal bench. As the President recently explained to the Cincinnati chapter of this Society, he has sought out, as he put it, "judges who would faithfully interpret the Constitution - and not use the courts to invent laws or dictate social policy." With the help of many in this room, the President has succeeded in this effort and appointed many well-qualified and accomplished judges who understand their role in interpreting -- not writing -- the laws.
Most notably, the President has appointed two members of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito . These men are no strangers to the people in this room -- indeed, they both spoke to this Society last year. Both of these remarkably accomplished justices will continue to serve the Nation for many years to come, and we are grateful not only for their service, but also for their approach to the difficult questions of constitutional law and statutory interpretation that the Court faces each term. The President is rightfully proud of his selection of both of these men, and the Federalist Society should be proud of the role it played in supporting their nominations.