About Checks & Balances

We are a group of attorneys who would traditionally be considered conservative or libertarian. We believe in the rule of law, the power of truth, the independence of the criminal justice system, the imperative of individual rights, and the necessity of civil discourse. We believe these principles apply regardless of the party or persons in power. We believe in “a government of laws, not of men.”

We believe in the Constitution. We believe in free speech, a free press, separation of powers, and limited government. We have faith in the resiliency of the American experiment. We seek to provide a voice and a network for like-minded attorneys to discuss these ideas, and we hope that they will join with us to stand up for these principles.

Who We Are

Jonathan H. Adler
Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law & Regulation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Senior fellow at the Property & Environment Research Center and the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University Antonin Scalia School of Law.
Donald B. Ayer
Deputy Attorney General, 1989-1990. Principal Deputy Solicitor General, 1986-1988. U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, 1981-1986.
C. Frederick Beckner III
Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division, 2006-2009. Former Clerk to Samuel Alito, U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
John B. Bellinger, III
Legal Advisor to Department of State, 2005-2009. Senior Associate Counsel to the President and Legal Advisor to the National Security Council 2001-1005.
Phillip D. Brady
White House Staff Secretary, 1991-1993. White House Cabinet Secretary, 1989. Deputy Counsel to President Ronald Reagan. Deputy Assistant to Vice President George H. W. Bush, 1985-1988. Acting Assistant Attorney General, 1984-1985. Associate Attorney General, 1983-1984.
George T. Conway III
Securities and Corporate Litigation at Wachtell, Lipton. Argued successfully before the Supreme Court in Morrison v. National Australia Bank. Declined nomination as assistant attorney general in 2017.
Carrie F. Cordero
Robert M. Gates Senior Fellow & General Counsel, Center for a New American Security. Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center. Former Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, Senior Associate General Counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Attorney Advisor at the U.S. Department of Justice, 2003-2010.
Charles Fried
Beneficial Professor of Law, Harvard Law School. Solicitor General, 1985-1989. Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, 1995-1999.
Stuart M. Gerson
Acting Attorney General, 1993. Assistant Attorney General, 1989-1993.
Peter D. Keisler
Acting Attorney General, 2007. Assistant Attorney General, 2003-2007. Acting Associate Attorney General, 2002-2003.
Orin S. Kerr
Frances R. and John J. Duggan Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Trial Attorney, Department of Justice Criminal Division, 1998-2001.
Marisa C. Maleck
Appellate, Constitutional, and Administrative Law at King & Spalding. Former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas.
Trevor Potter
President, Campaign Legal Center; Federal Election Commissioner (1991-1995) and Chairman (1994); Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice (1982-1984)
Alan Charles Raul
Former Vice Chairman of the White House Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Former General Counsel to the Office of Management and Budget. Former General Counsel to the Department of Agriculture. Former Associate Counsel to the President.
Tom Ridge
Secretary of Homeland Security, 2003-2005. Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, 2001-2003. Governor of Pennsylvania.
Paul Rosenzweig
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, 2005-2009.
Ilya Somin
Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University.
J.W. Verret
Associate Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University. Former Chief Economist and Senior Counsel to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services.

Each of us speaks and acts solely in our individual capacities, and our views should not be attributed to any organization we may be affiliated with.