Talk:Janice Rogers Brown

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Links removed from references[edit]

These link to a page that is updated daily.

Picture of Judge Brown[edit]

There was once a picture of Judge Brown in the article. What happened to it? -- --Keetoowah 04:05, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

I vaguely recall that it was deleted because Jimbo Wales has launched a new campaign among the admins (starting about a month ago) to crack down on photos that do not have proper copyright info. This is to reduce Wikipedia's liability exposure and thus increase the project's long-term viability. The photo did not have a clear provenance, so it was deleted.
If anyone in Washington could bump into Brown one of these days and get a new photo and turn around and upload it to WP under the GFDL, that would be great. --Coolcaesar 06:07, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Commnet on the handling of the article[edit]

I suggest that the way to handle this article is not to remove the critical information, but to balance that with the opposing point of view. -- BD2412 thimk 20:14, 2005 May 12 (UTC)

I was typing the response when you visited the talk page. It is the nature of Wikipedia to make a choose between users and so my comments were eliminated. What I basically stated is that the material probably should NOT be in the article, the reasoning against her nomination needs to presented in a balanced NPOV manner. Having its own section with each point starred is not NPOV. Also, there must an attempt to provide the reasons FOR her nomination also, that was not present. Also, the comments were conclusionary, they did not provide the reasoning. For example, the LA Times quote stated that she is bad. Whoa! That's an elementary school argument. There was no explanation on WHY JRB is so "bad." that is NOT a NPOV presentation. So go ahead provide the arguments and thinking against JRB, but provide the arguments and thinking FOR JRB also. And conclusionary statments just don't cut it. Your contracts professor wants to hear 'why' the contract is void, he/she does not just want to hear you say the contract is void. Best,--Keetoowah 20:34, 12 May 2005 (UTC)
No disagreement here - I didn't put the criticisms in the article; had I done so I would not have presented them in that conclusory bullet-point fashion, which I agree is not an NPOV presentation. However, I think there should be both criticisms and explanations thereof here. -- BD2412 thimk 22:00, 2005 May 12 (UTC)

response to my changes being reversed[edit] wrote: restore valid quotes, putting them in a "Criticisms" section. Let's not whitewash her

Sigh..... Newspaper quotes, of an editorial nature, do not belong in an encyclopedia. Rush Limbaugh's views on Karl Marx do not belong in his entry, either.

Only statements like "liberals are critical of J.R.B. and allege x, y, z" are potentially appropriate.

As to me whitewashing her - I have no idea what she did or did not do as judge, or whether she is "extreme" - I only removed inappropriate materials. -- CrzRussian

Her education[edit]

Does anybody have any idea how the daughter of sharecroppers from Alabama was able to afford Cal State Sacramento? As an out-of-state resident, her tuition would have been pretty high, even back then. Did she get government grants, something she opposes for other people? RickK 21:08, May 20, 2005 (UTC)

Have you even heard of scholarships based upon academic qualifications???? Also, give me the citation where she specifically--as you state--"government grants, something she opposes for other people?" Where did she say that??? When did she say that???? Until you provide a specific quote then I am going to assume that you are a biased editor of the article. I am also going to assume that you are simply looking for things to critize her for. Also, have you ever heard of people working, earning cash, and paying tuition???? I know that most of the editors in Wikipedia are left-wing radicals, but shouldn't you attempt to cover up your biases so that you don't exhibit them so clearly???------Keetoowah 15:41, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
Dear RickK: I have noticed that you have NOT provided the exact quote where JRB stated JRB opposes "government grants"???? I guess you don't have any back up for wild accusation. Just blowhard hot air.------Keetoowah 20:08, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

She got a BA when she was 25. The simplest possibility is moving to California so she would not be an out of state student. One year residency, apply based on high school grades, and there you have it. Marriage to a Calif. native would also avoid out of state fees. She also could have worked a few years, gone to a non-Calif. 2-year or 4-year college and THEN applied to the Calif. college. 19:39, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Her mother took her to California when she was a teenager. College in Sacramento would have been inexpensive. Activist (talk) 20:51, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Fair 'n Balanced[edit]

From The National Journal, via The Week

Janice Rogers Brown of the California Supreme Court. A radical libertarian, she once called Social Security a �triumph of our own socialist revolution� and likened the New Deal to the Bolshevik uprising of 1917. Though she�s black, Brown has argued that racial slurs in the workplace are a permissible form of free speech. Libertarian == "wacko" ? Brodo 19:56, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Dear Brodo: It seems that you believe that Wikipedia is your platform to spew your opinions. It is not. Nothing that you take out of context above disqualifies Brown from any position. Keep your silly opinions to yourself.-----Keetoowah 17:24, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Removed from the article[edit]

I removed this from the article: "In 2003 she was the lone vote against homosexual co-parent adoption, saying that a homosexual legally adopting the child of their partner 'trivializes family bonds'." If you read her opinion in that case, that's not what she says at all. What she says is that second-parent adoption of a child by someone who has no legal ties to the birth parent trivializes family bonds, and she points out specifically that "every Californian adult has access to such a relationship", via marriage and domestic partnership. - Nat Krause 07:43, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thank you for the clarification, Nat. I did some research on the quote but never found the article you mentioned. I apologize for including the information without presenting a more accurate picture. Since this is a ruling that she has been frequently criticized for, maybe you should include her statement to explain her position. --JamesB3 08:29, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Surprised conservatives?[edit]

Brown has also surprised some conservatives with traditionally liberal positions on criminal sentencing and freedom of speech. The majority opinion Brown authored in Varian v. Delfino has reinforced California's SLAPP statute. She was the lone justice to contend that a provision in the California Constitution requires drug offenders be given treatment instead of jail time.

Can someone document that conservatives were actually surprised? Or was it instead that liberals who held a certain conception of the conservative viewpoint on freedom of speech were surprised? Theoretically, conservatives do stand for free speech as a first amendment freedom, and I could produce quotes from Ronald Reagan and other conservative leaders that would really surprise some liberals.

Can someone provide a reference to an article that documents some conservatives expressing surprise or disappointment at these Brown decisions? If not, I think perhaps this needs minor revision as unsubstantiated. 12:52, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

She was X.... She was Y... She was Z...[edit]

Too many statements of She was this. She was that. She was the other. Looks like a resume. Smooth it out a bit. -- BD2412 talk 21:50, 2005 Jun 9 (UTC)

"Not qualified" rating[edit]

I just restored the following information to the article, regarding Brown's appointment to the California Supreme Court:

At that time, she was rated "not qualified" by the California State Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Nominees, which evaluates nominees to the California courts - the first appointee to receive such a rating. The basis of that negative rating, according to the Bar, was her lack of judicial experience. Brown had then been sitting as a Justice on the Third District Court of Appeal of California (an intermediate appellate court below the California Supreme Court) for less than two years. Brown was praised in the JNE Commission evaluation for her intelligence and accomplishments.

I don't know why it was removed in the first place - it has been widely reported that she was so rated, and this paragraph counters the potential assertion that the rating was based on her views or her competance. -- BD2412 talk 02:26, 2005 Jun 13 (UTC)

Dear -- BD2412 talk: I don't know why it was removed either. I added the part about how the JNE complemented Brown's "intelligence and accomplishments." I guess some folks only want to focus on the words "not qualified" and not put it in context. I guess it doesn't have the same propaganda quality to it, if those words are placed in their proper context.----Keetoowah 17:27, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well, it could have been removed for either reason - by an anti-Brown partisan seeking to conceal the explanation, or a pro-Brown partisan seeking to conceal the whole thing. Or just by a poor editor who didn't think it important for the article. Restoring the entire text addresses all three. :-D -- BD2412 talk 03:28, 2005 Jun 14 (UTC)

Is she on the DC court or not?[edit]

This article begins: "Janice Rogers Brown ... is a Judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, since June 8, 2005."

Yet United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit#Pending nominations states: "The U.S. Senate confirmed Justice Brown on June 8, 2005, by a 56-43 vote. She received her commission on June 10, 2005. She has not yet been sworn in." (emphasis added)

Which is correct? --zenohockey 8 July 2005 16:53 (UTC)

  • She's been approved by the Senate and recieved her commission, so she's "on" the court once it's back in session. Swearing in is a formality - just as you can say that someone is a witness in a case before they have been sworn in to testify. -- BD2412 talk July 8, 2005 16:57 (UTC)
    • Obviously the point has long since become moot with regard to Brown, but being sworn in as a judge is not merely a technicality. It's more akin to taking the oath of office as President or as a member of Congress. You don't actually hold the office until you're sworn in. (talk) 05:55, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
      • She is on the court, but now in senior status. She still has cases assigned to her, but not a regular caseload. She authored a controversial majority opinion on the Affordable Care Act in October 2013. Activist (talk) 20:54, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Religious Faith[edit]

  • What is the religious faith of judge Janice Rogers Brown?

Protestant. She was a member of the Rancho Cordova (near Sacramento, CA) Church of Christ, before moving to the D.C. area.[1] Activist (talk) 02:17, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

NAACP oppostion to Brown[edit]

The following is fully sourced, and the NAACP's opposition to her is significant enough to merit inclusion:

  • The NAACP, one of the oldest and most influential civil rights organizations in the United States, opposed the confirmation of Brown, labeling her "Extreme Right-Wing". [3]

NBGPWS 20:13, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Response: It is neither significant nor in any way unique:
  1. In 2005 alone, the NAACP opposed "extreme right wing" Janice Rogers Brown, "extreme right wing" Pricilla Owens, and "extreme right wing" William H. Pryor. So did "" and "People for the American Way" These are all lobbying organizations with a POV to push. What would have been significant is if the NAACP had supported Brown. As WP:5P points out, Wikipedia is not a soapbox and not a newspaper.
  2. The current edit is heavily freighted down with POV language. "one of the oldest and most influential civil rights organizations" and 'labeling her "extreme right wing."' This is not a encyclopedic fact about JRB, it is a rhetorical hit-job whose only reason for inclusion is to label her as "extreme right wing." If we remove the POV, we are left with The NAACP opposed Brown. which, if it belongs anywhere, belongs in a daughter article list, but WP:5P also cautions that Wikipedia is not a collection of trivia.
For these reasons, this edit should be removed. --Paul 21:45, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Good point about the other orgs. I'll add in the other significant NGO's and individuals who opposed Brown, and for what reasons then. Maybe they should be in a separate 'criticisms' section. NBGPWS 00:31, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

I restored the NAACP's description of Brown as 'Extreme Right Wing'. Its their words. The wording "one of the oldest and most influential civil rights organizations in the United States" came right out of the Wiki article, and is undisputable as well. Note that although the NAACP opposed the confirmation of John Roberts it did not call him 'Extreme Right Wing':





It's sourced and should stay.

The article is NOT about the NAACP, it is about Judge Brown. The flowery description of the NAACP will be removed. Thanks.--Getaway 14:34, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Speaking as an "extreme right-winger", I really don't see a problem with this being in the article. I did think the source link being to the google cache of the report was a little hinky, so I rewrote a proper cite, and added a footnotes section to the article. NAACP is a notable organization, and their opinion of a judicial nominee is noteworthy, flowery descriptions of the NAACP notwithstanding. I happen to think the NAACP is a shill organization for the ultra left wing of the Democrat party. But that doesn't mean they and their opinion is not noteworthy. Crockspot 20:05, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your opinion; however, calling the NAACP "leading" is unnecessary since this article is about Brown, not the NAACP and it is commentary of a Wikipedia which is against Wikipedian policy. Also, the "extreme right-winger" commentary is gratuituous and unnecessary. The article now points out that the NAACP opposed her nomination. The specific commentary that the NAACP used is not notable. Have a good day.--Getaway 20:12, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree about the pumped up description of the NAACP, but I would point out that on page 7 of the report, they do use the words "extreme right-wing". But the NAACP would probably call Oprah extreme right-wing too. Frankly, I couldn't give two rats arses. I have bigger fish to fry, just butting in with my objective opinion. This is a content dispute to be worked out amongst you regulars, this is not a WP:BLP violation in any way that I can judge, so WP:3RR probably applies. Play nice now. Crockspot 20:17, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
Crockspot, The NAACP has lauded Oprah, and even given her an 'image award'. Please try not to impugne them unfairly. The fact that they didn't label John Roberts "Extreme Right Wing' but did so to JRB, proves that they do not use this term as a blanket description for everyone the oppose. I'll be adding a whole new section on 'opposition to Brown' (see below) and more from the NAACP, so this one descriptor matters little. Thanks for fixing the link. The PDF was offline when I tried to access it, thus my use of the cache. NBGPWS 23:00, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Opposition to confirmation[edit]

Even the staunchest supporters of Brown can't deny that her nomination and confirmation generated significant opposition and controversy. I will add a new section documenting this.

  • Edit - after more thought and research, I feel that a good model for this section would be the article on the confirmation hearings for Samuel Alito. It lists statements of support and opposition from notable figures and NGO's. Please See NBGPWS 23:31, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Please detail reasons for excluding any of the following. (links coming later)

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) "As long as the administration continues to do this [nominate "conservative ideologues"], we will continue to block judges who are outside the mainstream." and "I am disappointed to be here on this nomination. It's almost like this administration is looking for someone who will most antagonize us."

Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) "Unfortunately, the White House's recent nominees to the D.C. Circuit appear to continue a disturbing pattern of nominating judges who are extreme. Hopefully today the president will get the message that his current approach to nominations is not working."

Save Our Courts "Brown has often been the lone justice to dissent on the California Supreme Court, illustrating that her judicial philosophy is outside the mainstream. Not only does she show an inability to dispassionately review cases, her opinions are based on extremist ideology that ignores judicial precedent, including that set by the U.S. Supreme Court."

Americans United for Separation of Church and State Reverend Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director: "It is unfathomable to me that in 2003 anyone would seriously argue that Alabama, for example, could declare an official state religion. Yet that is the practical effect of Brown's views. That alone should disqualify her from the federal bench."

Congressional Black Caucus "Justice Brown's disdain for legal precedent could not be clearer. In many of her decisions, Justice Brown appears to be a jurist on a right-wing mission.... Justice Brown's record proves that she is unable or unwilling to divorce her personal views from her responsibility to fairly interpret the law and the Constitution. She should not be elevated to a federal court where she could further undermine the rule of law and the attendant legal protections."

NARAL Pro-Choice America "Janice Rogers Brown demonstrated her opposition to a woman's right to privacy when she wrote a caustic dissent to a California Supreme Court's ruling that a California parental consent law with respect to abortion violated the state constitution's right to privacy."

Thanks NBGPWS 22:44, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

You will note that your research model was an article devoted to the confirmation and hearings. Please follow that model and start a new article if you go through with your plan. Also, please remember that Wikipedia articles are fair, balanced and do not exhibit a POV. Please work as diligently finding examples of support as you do finding examples of opposition. --Paul 01:15, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
This article is extremely inaccurate and misleading - Note that she was rated unqualified TWICE, not once as the article claims. "Justice Brown's nomination to the California Supreme Court in 1996 was opposed by the State Bar of California's Commission on Judicial Nominees, which rated her "not qualified" in part due to her tendency to express "gratuitous" political and philosophical views in her opinions. It was the second time she received a "not qualified" rating; she was rejected after her first nomination to the California Supreme Court in 1993 due to a previous "not qualified" rating. Twenty out of 23 of her peers found her to be unqualified to serve on the California State Court of Appeals for the same reason. Further, when nominated to the federal judiciary, not a single member of the 15 member American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary rated her "well-qualified."" Her 'unqualified rating' was also due to much more than just a 'lack of experience'. This article is a pro Brown POV PUSHING TRAVESTY! see

NPOV tag[edit]

I have added the NPOV tag because of this particular paragraph: On June 8, Brown was confirmed as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by a vote of 56-43. She received her commission on June 10. Although no official announcement of her swearing-in ceremony was made, she began hearing federal cases on September 8, 2005. The NAACP opposed the confirmation of Brown, labeling her "Extreme Right-Wing,"[1] as did the Feminist Majority Foundation, "extreme right-wing,"[2], People For the American Way, "extreme right-wing,"[3] the National Council of Jewish Women, "extreme right-wing"[4] Senator Ted Kennedy, "extreme right-wing,"[5] and the National Organization for Women, "extreme right-wing."[6] There is no need to list of the groups that called Brown "extreme right-wing." The title is conclusionary and it does not explain anything. Also, Brown was confirmed for the Court and she is currently a judge that means that more people voted for her than voted against her. However, based upon this biased, hatchet editing job you would think that she was shot down by the Congress. There is no explanation why she was approved for the court, just a list of fringe political groups that lableled her a certian phrase. The groups ARE fringe because even though ALL of them labeled her a certain thing they failed absolutely miserably in their attempts to keep her off the Court. Also, the repetition of a stupid phrase, meant to put down a strong black woman is not encyclopedic. The phrase does not tell anyone anything about the woman's view or her judicial philosophy or the way that she has written court cases. It is just a negative phrase meant to hold down a strong black woman. Liberals are scared as rabbits that Brown is going to get on the Court so they are choosing to Wikipedia to brand her with a negative phrase early on and hope that it sticks. This is not an encyclopedia entry but a political document.--Getaway 22:25, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

No, just becasuse they lost does not make them "fringe groups". And it does not make Janice Rogers Brown "mainstream". It just means that the Republicans are in power, and in my opinion the people who are running the country right now are pretty damn extreme.

Please post your off-topic rants, speculation, political pablum, and 'race baiting' at Free Republic or where ever else you normally post such partisan blather, not here. (she's already 'on the Court', a salient fact you must be unaware of) The article, as it stands, is a POV endorsement of someone many people believe is one of the least qualified, most extreme judges ever to be confirmed on a federal court. The article starts out claiming she is known for her "passionate writing style" a Google search of this claim yields NO results outside this article, A Google search of J. R. Brown + "loose cannon" yields 1550 results. There are DOZENS of NGO's and notable Americans who opposed her confirmation, and I'll be adding the well sourced and documented opinions from many of them!
"At least week’s hearing, Senator Hatch recognized Berkeley law professor Stephen Barnett’s endorsement of Justice Brown’s nomination. But I would like to read a portion of a letter Professor Barnett sent to the Committee the day after Justice Brown’s hearing. He concluded, “(h)aving read the speeches of Justice Brown that have now been disclosed, and having watched her testimony before the Committee on October 22, I no longer support the nomination.” By opposing her nomination, Professor Barnett has joined more than 200 other law school professors who wrote to the Committee expressing their opposition. I ask that these two letters and other letters of opposition be included in the record."
A Divisive Nomination
"Editorial pages across the country came to similar determinations after Janice Rogers Brown’s hearing. Justice Brown’s home-state newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, concluded she is a “bad fit for a key court,” after finding that “in opinions and speeches, Brown has articulated disdainful views of the Constitution and government that are so strong and so far from the mainstream as to raise questions about whether they would control her decisions.” The Detroit Free Press concluded, “Brown has all but hung a banner above her head declaring herself a foe to privacy rights, civil rights, legal precedent and even colleagues who don’t share her extremist leanings.” NBGPWS 01:41, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

Relevant links repeatedly labeled as "linkspam" and deleted by a single user[edit]

Several links to notable sources have been repeatedly labeled "linkspam" and deleted by a single user. "Linkspam" means links to material with no relation to the topic and usually with a commercial or spurious goal; characterizing these links as such is clearly not accurate. Given this fact, and the fact that only one user continues to re-add the links after multiple users have re-added them, the presumption should be that the links are relevant and should stand unless the opposite case is convincingly argued here first, particularly given Wikipedia's interest in not white-washing over relevant, factual information due to controversial nature, and given the well-known record of political figures having partisans whitewash their Wikipedia articles. It is very well-documented in the news that Judge Brown has been of notable interest for advocating particular positions, which need to be referenced if this article is going to be encyclopedic rather than being subservient to a particular political viewpoint. - Reaverdrop (talk/nl/w:s) 15:14, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

A 2004 LL.M. from Virginia?[edit]

According to the article, Brown "received an LL.M. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2004." That's hard to believe, since by then she had already been on the California Supreme Court for eight years. She was near the pinnacle of her profession and had no need to earn another degree. She also would have been very busy, making it difficult to juggle her career and her school. And let's not forget the fact that there's an entire continent between her chambers in San Francisco and the law school in Charlottesville. Did someone make a mistake about the year? Was the degree honorary (in which case it should not be presented as part of her education, and UVA should be removed from her list of alma maters)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:01, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

No, she actually earned it. See this list published by UVA and this article. Keep in mind the court doesn't have oral argument in July and August, and by 2005, it was already common for lawyers to send large volumes of documents for batch scanning and OCR. It would have been simple for Brown to arrange for briefs in any cases she was working on to be scanned and emailed to her during her two six-week study sessions at UVA, and in any case, her staff attorneys would have been doing most of the heavy lifting of reviewing the lower court record, researching all the case law cited by the parties, and helping her with rough drafts once she had made up her mind generally about how she was going to decide a case. --Coolcaesar (talk) 11:38, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^