Project 21 Press Release: Black Group Calls for Fair Hearing on Black Court Nominee

Janice Rogers Brown, a black associate justice serving on the California Supreme Court, is the latest Bush judicial nominee to face the intense criticism of liberals. Members of the African-American leadership network Project 21 are calling upon senators to give her fair and timely consideration as she faces the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, October 22.

“The Senate’s job is to give its advise and consent, not to make the judiciary into its own political image,” said Project 21 member Jerry Brooks. “Justice Brown is more than qualified as a jurist. If some senators would actually embrace fairness rather than obstructionism and partisanship, then I believe Justice Brown should get the fair hearing she richly deserves.”

Brown was nominated by President Bush for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She is the daughter of Alabama sharecroppers. She moved to California where she became a lawyer and has spent all but two years of her legal career in public service. In 1996, she was appointed to the California Supreme Court.

Speaking on her judicial demeanor, black syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell writes that she “has been a very tough advocate of applying the law as it is written. When her fellow justices have gone the judicial activism route, her scathing and brilliant dissents have punctured their pretenses without mercy. Moreover, she has shown herself to be as knowledgeable as she is tough-minded.” The American Bar Association, considered by many to be the “gold standard” of judicial fitness, has given her appeals court nomination a “qualified” rating.

Liberal special interest groups and politicians have stepped up their criticism of Brown as her hearing date nears. Liberal senators have already placed legislative holds on or are filibustering the confirmation votes of many Bush judicial nominees in an attempt to keep them from being voted on by the full Senate. Some nominees have suffered in this legislative limbo since May of 2001. One nominee – Miguel Estrada -withdrew his nomination rather than prolong the attacks he had endured.

Project 21 members demand that the Brown confirmation process be handled in a quick and timely manner, devoid of scare tactics and procedural skullduggery.

“There is nothing in Judge Brown’s judicial history that should disqualify her from serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals,” said Project 21 member Sean Turner. “She has proven her ability to follow the letter of the law and refrained from social engineering from the bench, despite the pervasive activism of many of today’s jurists. It is time for the NAACP to step to the plate for a change and support a qualified individual who happens to be a part of their purported constituency. It is also time for liberals to cease these sophomoric attempts of obstruction for their own political gain.”

“This is one of the clearest examples of liberal bigotry that can be identified.” Said Project 21 member Mychal Massie. “Jurists such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Miguel Estrada and Justice Janice Rogers are despised by liberals because they stand for truth, integrity, accountability and responsibility to both to the law and the greater community”

Project 21 has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x106 or [email protected], or visit Project 21’s website at

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