Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Janice Rodgers Brown - Business As Usual

Here we are, then:

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed California judge Janice Rogers Brown for the federal appeals court, ending a two-year battle filled with accusations of racism and sexism and shadowed by a dispute over Democratic blocking tactics.

The 56-43 vote to confirm Brown to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia was the result of an agreement reached last month that averted, for the time being, a showdown between Republicans and Democrats over the filibustering of President Bush's judicial nominees.

What are we to make of this? It seems that Judge Brown is not extreme enough to allow Democrats to filibuster. She's really a mainstream voice, isn't she? These are some of her mainstream opinions:

* A 1999 dissent drafted by Brown suggested that the First Amendment allows employees to use racial epithets in the workplace;

* A Brown decision would have barred administrative agencies from awarding compensatory damages in race discrimination cases;

* A Brown opinion would have struck down a law requiring paint companies to help fund treatment of children exposed to lead paint;

* Rated "unqualified" by three-fourths of the state bar's examiners when nominated to the California Supreme Court;

* Brown told a meeting of the Federalist Society that "where government moves in, community retreats [and] civil society disintegrates";

* Brown has said that government leads to "families under siege, war in the streets…"

* Brown said that "when government advances, freedom is imperiled [and] civilization itself jeopardized."

* Brown told an audience that people of faith were embroiled in a "war" against secular humanists who threatened to divorce America from its religious roots.

Or as a nice summary of what we have growing for eventual transplanting into the Supreme Court flowerbed:

A review of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown's record to date raises serious questions and grave concerns about her persistent and disturbing hostility to affirmative action, civil rights, the rights of people with disabilities, workers' rights, and criminal rights. In addition, Brown has often been the lone justice to dissent on the California Supreme Court, illustrating that her judicial philosophy is outside the mainstream. Not only does she show an inability to dispassionately review cases, her opinions are based on extremist ideology that ignores judicial precedent, including that set by the U.S. Supreme Court.

I look forward with great interest to the nominee that is actually regarded as extreme enough to allow filibustering.