Jesse M. Furman
Obama Nominee to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
Furman’s Advocated for “Judicial Activism”
in the Courtroom and in His Writings
Action: Call Senators and Ask Them to Vote “NO” on
Jesse Furman’s Confirmation to the U.S. District Court.
The Supreme Court Rejected Furman’s Invitation for the Court to Legislate from the Bench and Re-Write the First Amendment to Discriminate Against Christian Schoolchildren. In 2001, Furman joined in filing an amicus brief in the landmark Supreme Court case of Good News Club v. Milford Central School. Furman advocated for new language to be read-into the First Amendment that would have led to unprecedented erosion in established free exercise rights. Furman sought to ban a Christian organization from using public school property, outside of school hours, even when the use was clearly not a school sponsored event. The Supreme Court soundly rejected Furman’s invitation to legislate from the bench, squarely disagreeing with Furman’s view that allowing, “[the] Good News Club to extend the school day for elementary school children by offering religious worship, instruction and indoctrination on public school grounds would result in an unprecedented erosion of Establishment Clause values that would reverberate well beyond this particular case.”
Furman Argued that First Amendment Free Speech Rights Do Not Extend to Christians Because they do not “promote cohesion among a heterogeneous democratic people.” In his amicus brief in the Good News Club case, Furman argued: “In short, while the public school is ‘[d]esigned to serve as perhaps the most powerful agency for promoting cohesion among a heterogeneous democratic people,’ the Good News Club is designed to do quite the opposite: to label children as either ‘saved’ or ‘unsaved’ and, thus, to promote religious belief in general and Christian belief in particular. Indeed, the Good News Club expressly teaches that adherence to a particular faith is essential to one's standing in the community - that those who “have received the Lord Jesus as [their] Savior from sin … belong to God's special group - His family.” Furman characterized all of traditional Christianity as intolerant, and arrogantly declared that a “categorical exclusion of that [Christian] speech as both a reasonable, viewpoint-neutral limitation, consistent with the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, and as a limitation mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.”
Furman is a Leader of the American Constitution Society Which Rejects a Literal Reading of the Constitution. Furman is a member of the Executive Committee of the ACS’s New York Lawyers Chapter, assisting in their advocacy for an activist interpretation of the Constitution. This group rejects original intent and judicial restraint, and advocates for an activist judiciary. Furman’s chapter of the ACS has sponsored events such as “Conservatives Justices Run Amok: A Return to Principled Constitutionalism.”
Furman Supported Ultra-Leftist Goodwin Liu, a Judicial Nominee The Senate Refused to Confirm Because of His Radical Advocacy For Judicial Usurpation of Legislative Power. In 2012, Furman signed a joint letter from Yale Law School alumni expressing support for extremist Goodwin Liu, a Nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, whose nomination was ultimately withdrawn following significant controversy and bi-partisan opposition. In the joint letter, Furman endorsed the notion that “based on what we know first-hand, that Goodwin would approach every case with diligence, care, and impartiality.” Furman’s assessment of extremist Liu is further confirmation of Furman’s own anti-constitutional philosophy that judges should usurp legislative power.
Furman Used Inflammatory Language to Express His Open Opposition to Individual Second Amendment Rights. Furman has a long history of extremist beliefs regarding Second Amendment rights. As a student, Furman published an article entitled, “Bang, Bang You’re Dead! The NRA Supplied the Lead!” advocating alarmist positions supporting gun-control.
Furman was Treasurer of the Ultra-Liberal Furman Foundation. Furman served as Treasurer of the Furman Foundation for eight (8) years and during such time the Foundation gave to a long list of activist liberal causes including Alliance for Justice, Media Matters, and People for the American Way. Furman states that he had no decision making authority regarding the contributions of the Furman Foundation and that all such decisions were made by his mother. However, the agendas of the Furman Foundation and the liberal organizations that is supported are in no way inconsistent with Jesse Furman’s other known professional activities as listed herein and, accordingly, Furman’s “authority” over such contributions seems of little consequence.
Furman Advocates Blaming Society for The Misconduct of Criminals Rather Than Holding Them Accountable for Breaking the Law. Specifically, Furman has stated in a Law Review Note that “[t]he existence of a certain level of crime, therefore, should not be treated as a phenomenon to be cured. Although the following quote is a bit long, it is important to read the full context of Furman’s radical view of criminal conduct, and his apparent view that “crime” is in the eye of beholder and that society is partly responsible for arbitrarily deeming some conduct “criminal.” Furman writes:
“The existence of a certain level of crime, therefore, should not be treated as a phenomenon to be cured; rather, it should be viewed as the sign of a healthy, well-ordered society with a degree of laxity in its social life and norms. No longer should criminals be told that their nature is their only misfortune or that they are like a sickness that needs be cured; in addition, they should be told that society's norms contribute to their misfortune. Their assumptions suitably adjusted, the ‘reasonable’ citizens of justice as fairness and the jurists who shape American law would be forced to acknowledge the responsibility to reflect on their own norms – the responsibility to reevaluate the reasonableness of those norms, not simply to evoke them or to defend them mindlessly. Until this happens, liberalism will remain illiberal, and addressing the true sources of crime and dissonance will remain an unrealizable goal.”
 Furman states that he was “the primary drafter” of an amicus brief in opposition to the Good News Club but that his “name did not appear on the brief because [his] application for a Supreme Court clerkship was pending … and [he] was advised to omit any mention of [his] involvement ….” Senate Questionnaire at pp. 16-17; available at: http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/nominations/112thCongressJudicialNominations/upload/JesseFurman-PublicQuestionnaire.pdf
 Good News Club v. Milford Central School, 533 U.S. 98 (2001).
 Amicus Brief of Anti-Defamation League in Good News Club v. Milford Central School, 533 U.S. 98 (2001) at page 4; available at 2001 WL 43367 (U.S.).
 Id at footnote 5 http://judicialactiongroup.org/content/furmanbriefgoodnewsclub
 Id at page 2.
 See http://www.acslaw.org/events/2011-11-14/conservative-justices-run-amok-a-return-to-principled-constitutionalism.
 Letter from Yale Law School Alumni to Senate Judiciary Committee in Support of Goodwin Liu’s Nomination. (May 12, 2010), Letter on File with Judicial Action Group. http://judicialactiongroup.org/content/furmanliuletter
 Jesse Furman, “Bang Bank You’re Dead! The NRA Supplied the Lead” The Harvard Perspective, June 1991.
 “As Treasurer of the Furman Foundation from 2000 to 2008, I did not have any decision-making authority regarding where or to whom the Foundation donated money. The Foundation was established and funded entirely by my mother, and she exercised exclusive authority over decisions about where and to whom the Foundation donated money.” See Furman Responses to Questions for Response of Senator Grassley; available at:
 Political Illiberalism: The Paradox of Disenfranchisement and the Ambivalences of Rawlsian Justice. Jesse Furman, 106 Yale L.J. 1197 (1997). (Emphasis added.)