September 6, 2005
A criminal law perspective on Janice Rogers Brown
The folks over at The Volokh Conspirary, starting with Orin Kerr here and followed up by Todd Zywicki here, are talking up the possibility of Janice Rogers Brown as President Bush's next Supreme Court nominee, and they suggest she may be relatively liberal on questions of criminal law and procedure. (She is reputed to be extraordinarily conservative on other issues). In addition to generating interesting comments at Volokh, this new Brown buzz has drawn Brown admiration from Mike at Crime & Federalism, who says she "would be a perfect Justice," and from Ken at CrimLaw, who suggests she would be the only Justice who "believes in the 4th Amendment."
Because I have not had a chance to review personally her record as a Justice on the California Supreme Court, I have no first-hand opinion about Janice Rogers Brown as a potential SCOTUS nominee. But I find the buzz and its criminal law focus interesting, and it gets me wondering how a Justice Brown might fit into the current SCOTUS sentencing head-count on Apprendi-Blakely issues. (In this context, however, it should be noted that Brown joined the California Supreme Court opinion in Black which somehow held that California's sentencing scheme was unaffected by Blakely.)
September 6, 2005 at 02:17 PM | Permalink
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Janice Rogers Brown as a liberal on criminal law??? Dream on, guys. The only time she'd vote for a criminal defendant is if it were a CEO who looted the company pension fund, or a corporate polluter.
That's merely the spin being put out to make the nominee appear palatable, at least until confirmed.
Liberals always delude themselves into believing that maybe this nominee won't be so bad. They did it with Thomas. They're doing it with Roberts. And now they'll do it with whomever Bush nominates for O'Connor's seat. The Dark Side has been vetting and grooming potential nominees for years, preparing for this moment. There won't be any Souters in the bunch.
Posted by: Anon | Sep 6, 2005 2:55:58 PM
Anon, Have you ever read any of her opinions or are you just repeating what you heard on TV?
Posted by: THEother | Sep 6, 2005 3:49:05 PM
Yes, I've read a number of her opinions (and speeches too). And I rarely watch television, so I guess I haven't been properly instructed yet on what I'm supposed to think.
Bottom line -- Janice Rogers Brown is no Bill Douglas, and she is no fan of civil liberties, whether in criminal cases or any other case.
Posted by: Anon | Sep 6, 2005 9:01:22 PM
Anon, it's generally considered a common courtesy among lawyers to provide citations and legal arguments instead of sound-bites and platitudes. Citations, please.
Posted by: John | Sep 6, 2005 9:30:42 PM