WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A congressional power shift means the Federalist Society, a force in recommending conservative U.S. judicial candidates, will "play defense," a member said.
The society is blue because of the likelihood that Democrats, who take over the leadership in both the House and Senate in January, will block any federal judicial nominee with a conservative pedigree, said John C. Yoo, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
"The Bush effort to remake the judiciary has crested," Yoo told The New York Times. "We all will have to play defense for a while on this."
Society President Eugene Meyer said he recognized that members may experience some short-term discouragement, adding that he expected enthusiasm to resurface later.
Fueling the gloominess was Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., an outspoken critic of Bush administration judicial nominees, who said the midterm elections had changed the landscape.
"The days when the Federalist Society would get just about anything it wanted are over," Schumer said.
But during the society's recent annual convention, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who will cede his position as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Democrats would have to answer for nominations they block.