LOOSE CANNON: Report In Opposition To The Confirmation Of Janice Rogers Brown To The United States Court Of Appeals For The DC Circuit

Workers’ Rights, Consumer Protection and Property Rights Issues

Several workers’ rights and consumer protection cases raise troubling questions about Brown’s willingness to enforce the various constitutional and statutory provisions intended to protect the average person against the power of the government or large corporations. Brown has signaled her approval of broad drug-testing provisions even in situations in which a majority of the California Supreme Court found the tests to be clearly unconstitutional, and even where it would have required explicitly rejecting U.S. Supreme Court precedent. She also wrote an opinion as a judge on the Court of Appeal that would have struck down the fee system the state had instituted to ensure that paint companies help pay for state efforts to provide for screening and treatment of children exposed to lead paint, an opinion that was overturned by the California Supreme Court.

She has dissented from several important California Supreme Court rulings protecting the rights of investors and other consumers, arguing that past precedent interpreting state law should be effectively disregarded, as well as arguing for judicially imposed limits on punitive damages. And in dissents from decisions on rent control and upholding a city ordinance protecting against displacement of low income residents, she articulated an extreme view of private property rights that could also have dangerous ramifications for environmental protection measures and economic regulation by government.

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