A draft opinion from a federal judicial ethics committee, which was circulated among federal judges this month and first published by the National Review, has some conservative court watchers concerned that the committee is trying to suppress the Federalist Society, a powerful right-leaning lawyers' organization.
A longtime member and volunteer leader of the Federalist Society told Fox News that the opinion "smacks of censorship."
But the Committee on Codes of Conduct opinion says it is completely permissible for judges to be members of a third organization, the American Bar Association, which conservatives say is just as, if not more, political than the Federalist Society.
Additionally, the ACS does advocate for policies, unlike the Federalist Society, making the conservative and libertarian lawyers' group unique in that respect.
It is unclear whether or not Erickson, McConnell or Diaz personally endorse the draft opinion; the procedures the committee uses before circulating such opinions are also unclear.