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Democrats: We Support Women and Minorities, Unless...
by Robert R. Eberle, Ph.D., GOPUSA
22 October 2003Janice Brown

The Democrats are the champion on women and minorities, right? For a different opinion, ask DC Circuit Court nominee Janice Brown.

Democrats have long claimed to be the party of the "other" guy. They take great pride in telling women, minorities, or those of some "special" classification, that the only political party which adequately addresses their unique needs is the Democrat Party. However, the "needs" of these groups are not what drive the Democrats to clamor for their attention. Rather, it is the fact that these groups have traditionally voted Democrat that earns them the attention of the Democrat Party elite. Take a women or a minority who happens to be a conservative, and the needs of that person are not quite as important as they used to be. In fact, that person now becomes persona non grata to the Democrats. A perfect example can be seen in the recent Bush nomination of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown -- who happens to be both a women and a minority -- and guess what? She has drawn the scorn of the Democrats.

Janice Rogers Brown was born in Greenville, Alabama and received her undergraduate and law degrees in California. She has served as a California Deputy Attorney General as well as the Deputy Secretary and General Counsel for California's Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency. After working in the private sector, Janice Rogers Brown served as the Legal Affairs Secretary under California Governor Pete Wilson and then on the California Court of Appeals before becoming a justice on the California Supreme Court in 1996.

In July, President Bush nominated Justice Brown to a position on the DC Court of Appeals, the same court to which Miguel Estrada was nominated. The nomination was greeted with praise from conservatives and even from some of her colleagues on the opposite side of the philosophical spectrum.

In an op-ed published in early August, Santa Clara University Law School Professor Gerald F. Uelmen wrote, "Although I frequently find myself in disagreement with Justice Brown's opinions, I have come to greatly admire her independence, her tenacity, her intellect and her wit."

In referring to the highly partisan nature surrounding the confirmation of judicial nominees, Professor Uelmen added, "It's time to refocus the judicial confirmation process on the personal qualities of the candidates, rather than the "hot button" issues of the past. We have no way of predicting where the hot buttons will be in years to come, and our goal should be to have judges in place with a reverence for our Constitution, who will approach these issues with independence, an open mind, a lot of common sense, a willingness to work hard and an ability to communicate clearly and effectively."

Professor Uelmen predicted that Justice Brown would be targeted by liberals because of the opinions she authored in "controversial abortion and affirmative action cases."  It turns out that Professor Uelmen was correct.

The Congressional Black Caucus, comprised solely of Democrats, held a press conference this past week in which members blasted this minority woman for being a "right wing extremist."  Apparently, not all women and minorities have a place in the Democrat family.  Caucus Chairman Elijah Cumming (D-MD) said at the press conference that President Bush has purposely set out to "nominate individuals who are not qualified for these positions of trust and who are out of the mainstream of America."  The Congressional Black Caucus also described Justice Brown as being "hostile to civil rights" and having a "disdain for legal precedent."

Caucus member Maxine Waters (D-CA) said Justice Brown was a "poster woman for the far right wing." Representative Diane Watson (D-CA) told the Associated Press that her "atrocious civil rights record" would make Clarence Thomas look like "Thurgood Marshall in comparison."

Justice Brown has taken heat from liberal groups for a court opinion she authored regarding California's Proposition 209.  Prop 209 effectively banned "affirmative action" policies by stating, "the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting."  Justice Brown wrote the opinion in which the court upheld Prop 209. What liberal groups don't like to mention is that the court ruling was unanimous.  As Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said, "It was the voters of California, not Justice Janice Rogers Brown, who ended racial preferences when they endorsed Proposition 209."

Despite the efforts of Democrats and liberals to label Justice Brown as a right wing extremist, public support for Justice Brown would suggest otherwise.  In the liberal-leaning state of California, Justice Brown received over 75% of the vote in her last election for the California Supreme Court.  Justice Brown deserves the support of Republicans and Democrats alike.  It is agonizing to think that this minority woman, who grew up in poverty in Alabama and attended schools during a time when segregation still existed in the South, does not have support from the political party which claims to be the champion of women and minorities.

Justice Brown deserves to be confirmed, and it will take a strong will from Republicans in the Senate to see that she is.  Like Miguel Estrada, the nomination of Justice Brown will likely face a "filibuster" from Senate Democrats.  This cannot be allowed to stand.  Senate Republicans must hold their ground and return sanity to the Senate.  On the other hand, Democrats should embrace a true success story and support the nomination of Justice Brown.  If the Democrats are truly the party of women and minorities, then Justice Brown should be their poster woman and not the object of their contempt.

Bobby Eberle is President and CEO of GOPUSA.com

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