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President George W. Bush may have been the Federalist Society’s most esteemed guest Thursday night at the conservative legal group’s 25th anniversary gala, but U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, never one to mince words, best summed up the reason for the occasion: “We thought we were just planting a flower among the weeds of academic liberalism. It turned out to be an oak.”

Scalia, a professor at the University of Chicago at the dawn of the society in 1982, was the group’s first faculty adviser. He and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr. have lent their support over the years, and all were on hand last night to congratulate the society on its growth and stake in the legal marketplace of ideas.

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