On a vote of 56 to 43, the US Senate today confirmed Janice Rogers Brown to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Brown, one of the most right-wing and controversial of Bush’s judicial nominees, was blocked by Democratic filibuster in Bush’s first term and re-nominated in February. Ben Nelson of Nebraska was the sole Democrat to vote to confirm Brown. Not a single Republican crossed party lines to vote against Brown.
Often the lone dissenting vote on the California Supreme Court, Rogers Brown is a supporter of the constitution in exile, questioning the constitutionality of Social Security and most New Deal programs to regulate big business. Brown’s extreme positions were repeatedly stressed by Democrats in today’s debate on her nomination.
The Feminist Majority joined a wide coalition of groups in opposing Brown’s nomination, including the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, the National Bar Association, women’s rights groups, civil rights groups and seniors’ rights groups. Brown will now sit to the DC Circuit Court of Appeal, considered second only to the US Supreme Court in power. Three sitting Supreme Court Justices – Scalia, Thomas and Ginsburg – sat on the DC Circuit.
Following the vote on Brown, Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) immediately moved to a cloture vote on the nomination of William Pryor, another of Bush’s extreme right-wing nominees, who was guaranteed an “up or down” vote in the recent agreement signed by seven Democrats and seven Republicans. The Senate voted to end debate by a vote of 67-32.