LCCR: Rogers Brown’s Confirmation Both Alarming & Embarrassing

Media 06.8.05

Washington – The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation’s oldest, largest and most diverse civil and human rights coalition, is alarmed and disappointed by the elevation of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown to a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

“Republicans used one of the oldest tricks in the book to ram through Janice Rogers Brown’s confirmation,” said Wade Henderson, LCCR’s Executive Director. “They exploited her race and gender to obscure her shameful record. Rogers Brown’s judicial activism is extraordinary.”

As one of President Bush’s most radical nominees, Janice Rogers Brown was at the heart of the nuclear option battle that nearly destroyed our system of checks and balances. She has attacked Social Security as a system that cannibalizes children and has likened minimum wage and national labor relations laws to a “socialist revolution.” She has suggested that modest affirmative action programs somehow resemble “Jim Crow” laws that once mandated racial segregation in the southern United States. And now she’ll take these dangerous, radical beliefs with her to a powerful lifetime seat on what is widely considered our nation’s second highest court.

Rogers Brown’s confirmation is opposed by nearly 150 national and state organizations, including the NAACP, Sierra Club, and NOW. Given her poor record on discrimination suits she is broadly and strongly opposed by civil rights groups. Over the last week, LCCR ran TV spots in Washington DC, Maine, Rhode Island, and Nebraska to let constituents know about Rogers Brown’s harsh attacks on civil rights and refuting those who cravenly promoted Rogers Brown’s race and gender as primary qualifications.

“The overwhelming support by Republicans for Janice Rogers Brown’s confirmation is the height of hypocrisy,” said Nancy Zirkin, LCCR’s Deputy Director. “Republicans have piously and publicly decried judicial activism, while seeking to put the most extreme judicial activists on the bench. By any standard, Janice Rogers Brown is an activist judge, albeit a right wing one. Her confirmation, in light of the bipartisan deal that was struck to save our system of checks and balances, is a grave disappointment. But preserving the filibuster for a potential Supreme Court vacancy is crucial, given the extraordinary power of the Supreme Court over the laws of our nation.”