Statement on Janice Rogers Brown
The Senate must give Brown's nomination to the DC Circuit the closest possible scrutiny
October 22, 2003
Contact:Doug Kendall, Community Rights Counsel, 202 296-6889
California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown’s nomination to a lifetime seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has raised strong concerns within the environmental community, based upon her record.
The importance of the DC Circuit to the future of our nation's federal environmental protections cannot be overstated. The DC Circuit has the power - often the exclusive power - to hear challenges to health, safety, welfare, and environmental protections issued by federal government agencies. Except for the handful of cases that the Supreme Court agrees to review, the DC Circuit is the final arbiter of whether a federal protection will stand or fall.
Janice Rogers Brown's rulings and views on constitutional issues put her on the far fringes of constitutional interpretation. In today's nomination hearing, Senators Feinstein (D-CA), Leahy (D-VT), Kennedy (D-MA), Feingold (D-WI) and Durbin (D-IL) discussed many of the same court opinions and speeches by Justice Brown that are cited in an environmental report These opinions and speeches indicate a willingness-indeed, a zeal-to inject these views into the case law, even in the face of binding precedent. The Senate must give Brown's nomination to the environmentally-critical DC Circuit the closest possible scrutiny.
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 "supports returning to the universally denounced, early 1900s Lochner-era when courts elevated corporate interests over individual rights; and believes that the Supreme Court's 1937 decision that the New Deal was constitutional 'marks the triumph of our own socialist revolution.'"
Additional information on Brown, including