The Right Coast

October 13, 2005
Conspiracy Theorist
By Gail Heriot

I had never heard of Catherine Crier up until this past weekend. But I was in Barnes & Noble then, and I saw her new book "Contempt: How the Right Is Wronging American Justice." Out of curiosity, I opened it up. The dust jacket notes pretty much summarize her theme:

"America's federal courts ... make up the last relatively independent branch of government. But, there is a committed and well-organized confederation of ultra-conservative politicians, reactionary interest groups, and fundamentalist religious sects working to change that once and for all. And they are succeeding.

How? They have a plan. The have money. And they have millions of 'believers.' A majority of Americans strongly oppose the dogmatic agenda of this extreme right-wing onslaught, but that majority has remained silent. Someday, you and your family may wake up in a very different country, a country re-made in their intolerant image, a nation governed by their inflexible laws."

Among her targets is the Federalist Society, which she associates for some reason with both the Religious Right and white collar criminals like Kenneth Lay and Bernard Ebbers. You'll learn a lot about the Federalist Society if you read the book. Unfortunately, little, if anything, will bear even the slightest resemblance to the truth.

But that's not what interests me. It doesn't take a well-informed reader to see that this is a silly book--so silly that I shouldn't even be reviewing it on this fine blog. It's obvious from the moment one cracks it open. What does interest me is the peculiar reaction I have been getting from my friends when I mention Catherine Crier's name. They say things like, "I thought she was a conservative."

I must be really out of it, because I have no idea who this woman is, though judging from the photo she's a tv personality of some sort. But I figure I am doing a public service to get it over with and tell all my friends, acquaintances and readers at the same time that, no, Catherine Crier, whoever she is, is not a conservative. She is a conspiracy-minded loon.

Update: One of Crier's allegations against the Federalist Society is that it supports the so-called "Constitution-in-Exile movement." She has it wrong in two ways. First, the Federalist Society doesn't support any side of any issue. But if it did support movements, it probably wouldn't support the "Constitution-in-Exile movement" on the ground that, as PejmanYousefzadeh discusses at Tech Central Station, no such movement exists.