‘Far Right Dream Judge’ Janice Rogers Brown Joins Lineup of Extremist Appeals Court Nominees


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People For the American Way, NAACP Issue Joint Report on Record of Extremism and Right-Wing Activism

California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, one of President Bush’s most recent nominees to the federal appeals court, has a record of ideological extremism and aggressive judicial activism that makes her unfit to serve on the appeals court, according to a an in-depth analysis of her record released today by People For the American Way and the NAACP. Brown, nominated to the DC Circuit Court, is one of many Bush judicial nominees that could come before the Judiciary Committee and full Senate this fall.

“Janice Rogers Brown is the far right’s dream judge,” said People For the American Way President Ralph G. Neas. “She embodies Clarence Thomas’s ideological extremism and Antonin Scalia’s abrasiveness and right-wing activism. Giving her a powerful seat on the DC Circuit Court would be a disaster.”

“Janice Rogers Brown has a record of hostility to fundamental civil and constitutional rights principles, and she is committed to using her power as a judge to twist the law in ways that undermine those principles, said Hilary Shelton, director, NAACP Washington Bureau. “For the administration to bring forward a nominee with this record and hope to get some kind of credit because she is an African American woman is one more sign of the administration’s political cynicism.”

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.

In speeches, Brown has embraced the extreme states’ rights and anti-federal-government positions of the Federalist Society, the organization of lawyers and judges working to push the law far to the right. She has said that what she has called the “Revolution of 1937,” when the Supreme Court began to consistently sustain New Deal legislation against legal attack, was a “disaster” that marked “the triumph of our socialist revolution.”