Next Judical Battle: Janice Rogers Brown

The next battle over President Bush's controversial judicial nominees is likely to be fought over conservative California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown.
Her nomination could come before the Senate Judiciary Committee as soon as next week.

The bashing of Brown -- nominated in July to the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit -- is expected to get more intense as the confirmation date approaches. Opponents are actively lobbying senators to vote against her, and a highly critical, 2-month-old report by the NAACP and the People for the American Way is being distributed throughout the Senate.

Also troubling for Brown is that no major black law group backs her, now that the National Bar Association and the California Association of Black Lawyers have joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in panning the justice. Nan Aron, president of the left-leaning, Washington, D.C.-based Alliance for Justice, says opposition will come from all fronts -- not only black groups, but also women's organizations and pro-abortion associations.

"We will do everything we possibly can to ensure that she's not confirmed," Aron says. "We are working on a report and plan to release it to coincide with the announcement of her hearing."

We hope it's goodbye time to Judge Brown. Our prior coverage of her is here. We highly recommend you read this report on Judge Brown , prepared by People for the American Way.

The report released today, “Loose Cannon,” notes that when Brown was nominated to the state supreme court in 1996, she was found unqualified by the state bar evaluation committee, based not only on her relative inexperience but also because she was “prone to inserting conservative political views into her appellate opinions” and based on complaints that she was “insensitive to established precedent.”

The report carefully examines Brown’s record since she joined the court, especially her numerous dissenting opinions concerning civil and constitutional rights. Brown’s many disturbing dissents, often not joined by a single other justice, make it clear that she would use the power of an appeals court seat to try to erect significant barriers for victims of discrimination to seek justice in the courts, and to push an agenda that would undermine privacy, equal protection under the law, environmental protection, and much more.

According to the press release for the PFAW Report, the NAACP is similarly critica of Judge Brown:

“For the administration to bring forward a nominee with this record and hope to get some kind of credit because she is the first African American woman nominated to the DC Circuit is one more sign of the administration’s political cynicism.”

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