California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown’s widely opposed nomination to a lifetime seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit is scheduled for a committee vote today.
Based upon her extreme anti-environmental record, 35 national and state environmental groups have submitted a letter in opposition of Janice Rogers Brown’s nomination.
The DC Circuit’s importance to the future of federal environmental protections cannot be overstated. Except for the handful of cases that the Supreme Court agrees to review, the DC Circuit typically has the final say on whether national health, safety, and environmental protections will stand or fall.
According to Community Rights Counsel’s Executive Director Doug Kendall, “Brown is a judicial activist with views that lie far outside the mainstream of even conservative legal thinking. Her views put in jeopardy our nation’s bedrock environmental protections along with many other hallmark legislative achievements of the Twentieth Century. This nomination should trouble conservatives and liberals alike.”
Glenn Sugameli, Earthjustice’s Senior Legislative Counsel said: “Justice Brown’s record in her judicial opinions, speeches, and her Judiciary Committee testimony is extreme and displays an amazing hostility to government safeguards that is especially disturbing for a nominee to a lifetime seat on this critical court.” Justice Brown:
- believes that judges should protect corporate “property rights” to the same extent as fundamental individual rights like free speech, and mistakenly believes U.S. Supreme Court’s takings decisions support this view.
- believes that the Supreme Court’s 1937 decision upholding the New Deal as constitutional “marks the triumph of our own socialist revolution.”
- wrote in a solo dissent that private property is now “entirely extinct in San Francisco” and accused the city of implementing a “neo feudal regime,” and of “[t]urning a democracy into a kleptocracy.” Her sweeping assertion that “restriction of any one of the several rights that constitute private property in effect takes that property,” threatens a wide range of fundamental safeguards.
- denounced government as the “drug of choice” for ordinary Americans, and the federal government as a “leviathan” that is “crushing everything in its path.”
- asserted that “Where government moves in community retreats, civil society disintegrates, . . . the result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property, the precipitous decline of the rule of law, the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit.”
- stated that “[t]oday’s senior citizens blithely cannibalize their grandchildren” to “get as much ‘free’ stuff as the political system will permit them to extract.”
More information on Janice Rogers Brown, including links to:
- Letter from environmental coalition on the importance of the DC Circuit and the need to carefully review nominees (9/23/02)
- Community Rights Counsel and Earthjustice Report on Janice Rogers Brown and the Environment (20 pages PDF document)
- Editorials and Commentary on the Janice Rogers Brown nomination