21 Apr 2005 Project 21 Press Release: Black Network Demands Black Judicial Nominee Be Judged on Her Competence
Janice Rogers Brown, an associate justice on the California Supreme Court who has been nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 21. Members of the black leadership network Project 21 are calling on the Senate to judge her record based solely on her competence.
“The overriding concern liberals say they have about Janice Rogers Brown is the unsubstantiated claim that she is out of the mainstream,” notes Project 21 member Donald Scoggins. “If you look at her life and her achievements, she is well within what anyone could rationally consider mainstream. In fact, she stands out as someone who embodies American ideals.”
Associate Justice Brown is the daughter of an Alabama sharecropper who began her education in a segregated school. Her family later moved to California where she earned a law degree and spent the last 25 years in public service. After serving in lower state courts, she was appointed to the California Supreme Court in 1996. She was nominated to the D.C. Circuit in July of 2003.
On the California Supreme Court, Brown wrote more majority opinions than any of her colleagues in 2001 and 2002. She was retained by California voters with 76 percent of the vote. In a letter signed by 18 of her judicial colleagues, she was described as “a superb judge” who is “extremely intelligent, keenly analytical and very hard-working” and a judge “who applies the law without favor, without bias and with an even hand.”
Senate liberals began a filibuster of Brown’s nomination in November of 2003. While a simple majority is needed for actual confirmation, the filibuster requires 60 votes to bring the nomination to the floor for a vote.
“Time and again, liberals have proclaimed their support for those perceived as unable to help themselves, oppressed minorities and for the empowerment of women. Yet, contrary to their rhetoric, they have viciously attacked, belittled and objected to blacks such as Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Clarence Thomas for seemingly nothing more that the fact that their race and politics don’t meet the liberal mindset,” says Project 21 member Mychal Massie. “In Janice Rogers Brown, the liberals have a pristine opportunity to redeem themselves.”
Project 21 takes no position on the confirmation of any particular judicial nominee, but believes that it is in the best interest of the United States that judicial vacancies be filled with appropriate speed.
Project 21, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, has been a leading voice of the African-American community since 1992. For more information, contact David Almasi at (202) 507-6398 x11 or [email protected], or visit Project 21’s website at http://www.project21.org/P21Index.html.