The Bush Administration has continued to nominate and re-nominate federal judges who are hostile to basic environmental safeguards. That pattern continued with the nomination of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown to a lifetime seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The D.C. Circuit decides most industry challenges to federal environmental laws and determines the fate of many of the environmental safeguards issued by EPA, the Interior Department, and other federal agencies. In her opinions and speeches, Justice Brown has demonstrated a far-reaching hostility to the idea of regulating private interests for the public good. She has testified that, contrary to many decades of settled Supreme Court precedent, property rights "are entitled to the same level of protection as what is called fundamental rights or fundamental liberties." Acceptance of her activist positions would threaten some of the past century’s most basic health and environmental protections.
Justice Brown’s nomination was initially blocked by a filibuster. However, as part of a bipartisan agreement to protect filibuster rights, Brown’s opponents agreed not to block the final vote on her nomination. On June 8, 2005, the Senate confirmed Justice Brown by a 56-43 vote (Senate roll call vote
131). NO is the pro-environment vote.