Janice Rogers Brown's federal nomination proves that "everybody that’s your color is not your kind!"

Senate Republicans see Brown as model for fight

By Sinclere Lee

SAN FRANCISCO, California (BNW) –
Stupid Bush and the republicans are good at playing Blacks in this country against each other. They play the race card when trying to get these no-good niggers appointed to jobs like saying Janice Rogers Brown is Black sharecropper's daughter.

This bitch does not represent anything Black, but is being used by Bush to keep US divided, and it brings to home the statement that, “everybody that’s your color, is not your kind.” This is how it is with Janice Brown who became the first Black woman and most conservative justice on California's Supreme Court; she is a model for how republicans use Black suffering to promote Black Toms.

So while another of stupid Bush's judicial nominees, Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, is likely to be the flashpoint for a showdown over whether Democrats should be able to stop appointments to the nation's highest courts, Brown is being debated just as much on the Senate floor this week.

In many ways, Brown's court rulings and speeches mirror the thinking of Bush and conservatives coast to coast.

An outspoken Christian conservative from the segregated South, she supports limits on abortion rights and corporate liability, routinely upholds the death penalty and opposes affirmative action.

"A lot of judges get to the point they think they were anointed and not appointed," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, said Tuesday during floor debate. "I don't think anyone can contend she has performed other than admirably on the bench. She has written beautifully and thoughtfully."

Brown's views are also why Democrats have used a filibuster since 2003 to block her confirmation for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Senate's 55 Republicans have a clear majority to confirm but not the 60 votes need to break the filibuster.

"She has criticized the New Deal, which gave us Social Security, the minimum wage, and fair labor laws. She's questioned whether age discrimination laws benefit the public interest," said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, "No one with these views should be confirmed to a federal court and certainly not to the federal court most responsible for cases affecting government action."

Brown, 56, caught the attention of the Bush administration with her majority opinion in 2000 striking down a San Jose city ordinance requiring government contractors to solicit bids from companies owned by women and minorities. Her opinion traced the legal history of race in America, portraying it as ebbing and flowing on whether government should treat all races equally.

Her 40-page conclusion boiled down to this: People should be treated equally, regardless of race.

Even if an ordinance assists minorities, Brown wrote, "benign motivation cannot sanction a requirement that conflicts with the proscription against discrimination and preferential treatment on the basis of race and sex."

California's chief justice, Ronald M. George, concurred with Brown's opinion but attacked her portrayal of affirmative action as "entitlement based on group representation," calling it a "serious distortion of history."

Brown's position, however, meshes well with the philosophy of the Bush administration, which two years ago told the U.S. Supreme Court that it opposed the University of Michigan's race-based admissions policies. In February, she kept up her affirmative action attacks, deciding against safeguards protecting black women from being removed from juries by biased prosecutors.

Her father moved his family from rural Alabama to Sacramento after joining the Air Force. Brown graduated in 1977 from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, then worked in state government and for several Republican governors.

Close friend Douglas Kmiec, a Pepperdine School of Law professor, said Brown became a lawyer after her grandmother espoused the virtues of civil rights attorney Fred Gray, who defended Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.

When Kmiec introduced Brown to the graduating law students at Catholic University in 2003, he said she formulates opinions "in prayer and quiet study of the Bible." Brown then took the podium and criticized philosophers and scientists for trying to mold society "as if God did not exist."

The law, she said, is the "terrain on which Americans are struggling to decide what kind of people they are."

She defended her faith-based approach to the law again last month, telling a gathering of Roman Catholic legal professionals in Darien, Connecticut, that "these are perilous times for people of faith, not in the sense that we are going to lose our lives, but in the sense that it will cost you something if you are a person of faith who stands up for what you believe in and say those things out loud."

Brown worked 12 years as a state government lawyer before joining a lobbying and legislative law firm led by former Republican Gov. George Deukmejian's chief of staff, Steve Merksamer. Then she became legal affairs secretary to Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, who nominated her to a state appellate court in 1994.

Two years later, Wilson nominated her to the California Supreme Court. She was confirmed in 1996 over the concerns of the state's judicial vetting committee, which rated her "not qualified" because of her limited judicial experience.

Brown has two children and lives in Sacramento with her husband, jazz musician Dewey Parker.

"She's a brilliant African American woman who is able to articulate a conservative judicial philosophy, and the Democrats can't stand it," Merksamer said. "I think it upsets the orthodoxy of the left to have someone who is brilliant and articulate who also happens to be black and female."

Opponents don't see it that way.

"They're hoping that people will feel uncomfortable opposing an African American woman whose father was a sharecropper," said Eva Paterson, president of the Equal Justice Society, a liberal think tank that opposes Brown's nomination.

Regardless, Brown's rulings have shown sympathy at times to the plight of minorities.

In 2002, the California justices upheld the drug conviction of a black man stopped for riding his bicycle the wrong way on a one-way street. Police searched the man, found methamphetamine, and he was convicted and sentenced to nearly three years.

The majority, in upholding the conviction, left it to the "judgment of the arresting officer" on whether to make an arrest under the circumstances. In her lone dissent, Brown said the decision left open the door to racial profiling.

Brown showed less mercy when it comes to the death penalty, writing that "murderers do not deserve a fate better than that inflicted on their victims."

On abortion, Brown wrote a scathing dissent in 1997 to a ruling which struck down a parental consent law, calling her colleagues "philosopher kings."

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