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The Judiciary and the Right Wing: Attacks on Independence
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Low-Lights from the Right: June 13, 2005
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The Judiciary and the Right Wing: Attacks on Independence
Low-Lights from the Right: June 7, 2005

With Friends Like These

As the Senate has begun debate on the second of three nominees that will receive an up-or-down vote under the recently reached bipartisan agreement on the use of the filibuster, it is worth taking another look at just who is supporting the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown on the extreme right.

As explained in the PFAW/NAACP report on Brown entitled “Loose Cannon,” her hostility to fundamental constitutional and civil rights principles, along with her “record of ideological extremism and aggressive judicial activism” make her "unfit” for confirmation to the federal bench.

As damning as the evidence about Brown’s record already is, the views of her supporters are equally telling. When a man like Dr. James Dobson, who compared the judges in the Terri Schiavo case to Nazis and warns that only the confirmation of the proper type of judges can save the nation from the “long night of paganism,” praises Brown as a “qualified judge[]” and calls for her confirmation, it speaks volumes.

The same can be said about Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council. Not too long ago, he likened the separation of church and state to the Berlin Wall, warning that Right Wing activists must “work to tear down this perilous wall and allow freedom to truly ring” lest the U.S. “follow the Soviet Union into the ash heap of history.”

Speaking at the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration’s (JCCCR) “Confronting the Judicial War on Faith” event, Perkins claimed that the Supreme Court has become “increasingly hostile to Christianity, and it poses a greater threat to representative government -- more than anything, more than budget deficits, more than terrorist groups.” One has to wonder what it means when someone like Perkins calls Brown a “well-qualified and talented judicial [nominee]” and urges his supporters to call their senators and “ask them to confirm Janice Rogers Brown.”

In an April 24 newsletter – the Rick Scarborough Report on the War on Faith - the head of the JCCCR states that “Christian conservatives like myself, have played by the rules, working hard to elect a conservative Christian President because we understood that he would then be able to appoint judges who would hold a conservative judicial philosophy. For over four years we have witnessed an unprecedented assault on the values we hold dear as principled and qualified men and women like Judge Priscilla Owens and Judge Janice Brown have been denied their right to an up or down vote because they were smeared as “extremist.”

Where Have We Heard That Before?

When Dobson states that “we’ve been in a culture war for a long time and it has become more intense in recent years” and that “there is so much at stake now,” one is struck by how similar that statement is to one recently made by Rogers Brown herself
"There seems to have been no time since the Civil War that this country was so bitterly divided. It's not a shooting war, but it is a war," she said, according to a report published [April 25th] in the Stamford Advocate.

"These are perilous times for people of faith," she said, "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."

For these remarks, Brown was praised by Gary Bauer, president of American Values:
"No wonder the radical left opposes her," Bauer wrote in an e-mail to supporters. "Janice Rogers Brown understands the great culture war raging in America. That is why the abortion crowd, the homosexual rights movement and the radical secularists are all demanding that Senate liberals block her confirmation."

Considering that she appears to share his views, it is no wonder that Bauer supports Brown and sees an urgent need for her confirmation:
“The bottom line here is very simple: do we want marriage to be between a man and a woman or are we willing to let it be between two men? Do we think the Ten Commandments can be displayed on public property or should the Ten Commandments be censored while child pornography is allowed? Is it okay to have “under God” in our pledge or are we going to strip that out of the pledge? President Bush’s judicial nominees are with us on those issues. The liberals in the Senate want to keep putting liberals on the bench that have given us these terrible rulings over the last 35 or 40 years on those issues and on the sanctity of life. That’s what this is about and that’s why any effort to have a so-called “compromise” would undercut our attempt to get this country’s culture back on the right road.”

Likewise, it is not surprising that the Traditional Values Coalition would praise Rogers Brown as an “ideal federal judge.” Considering that part of TVC’s mission is to oppose “behaviors that destroy individuals, families, and our culture [such as] sodomy” because “they frequently lead to death,” it is understandable that it would support Rogers Brown, who has stated that:
“Where government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is: families under siege; war in the streets; unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility and the triumph of deceit. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible.”

It is shocking when those on the extreme Right, such as Stephen Moore, formerly of the Club for Growth, rant
“[Senior citizens are] the most selfish group in America today….Their demands on Washington are: ‘Give us more and more and more.’ They have become the new welfare state, and given the size and political clout of this constituency, it’s very dangerous. One of the biggest myths in politics today is this idea that grandparents care about their grandkids. What they really care about is that that Social Security check and those Medicare payments are made on a timely basis."

But it is even more shocking when those same sentiments are spouted by one of President Bush’s judicial nominees:
“My grandparents’ generation thought being on the government dole was disgraceful, a blight on the family’s honor. Today’s senior citizens blithely cannibalize their grandchildren because they have a right to get as much “free” stuff as the political system will permit them to extract.”

Birds of a Feather

Try as they might to conceal their support for Rogers Brown behind rhetoric regarding support for civil rights, gender equality, or support for minorities, given Janice Rogers Brown’s extreme public and professional record, it is not hard to understand the real reason that she has garnered the support from just about every Right Wing organization.

Her extremist record, including her radical judicial decisions, makes her exactly the sort of judge the Right expects President Bush to place on the federal bench. And those on the Right have pulled out all the stops in order to ensure that Rogers Brown and other nominees who share her views receive confirmation.

After all, in the eyes of the Judicial Confirmation Network, Janice Rogers Brown “about as close as you can get to an ideal judge.”

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