As more than 200 law professors wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee in July, 2001, no federal judicial nominee is presumptively entitled to confirmation. Because federal judicial appointments are for life and significantly affect the rights of all Americans, and because of the Senate’s co-equal role with the President in the confirmation process, nominees must demonstrate that they meet the appropriate criteria. These include not only an “exemplary record in the law” and an “open mind to decision-making,” but also a “commitment to protecting the rights of ordinary Americans” and a “record of commitment to the progress made on civil rights, women’s rights, and individual liberties.”
Justice Brown’s record does not demonstrate the commitment to fundamental constitutional and civil rights principles that should be shown by a nominee to an important lifetime position on the federal court of appeals for the DC Circuit. To the contrary, she would be insensitive to established precedent protecting civil and constitutional rights and improperly prone to inserting right-wing political views into her appellate opinions in an effort to remake the law. Senators should not consent to her confirmation.