WASHINGTON - June 9 - The Senate's confirmation of Janice Rogers Brown for
the DC Circuit Court of Appeals could have serious and long-term impacts
on the nation's environmental protections. Justice Brown's avowed
hostility to laws that protect our air, water, and lands and her
tendency to rule based on personal philosophy make her unfit to serve on
the D.C. Circuit, which handles a vast number of cases involving federal
"It is ironic that the Senate voted to confirm a judge with such clear
contempt for Federal laws which protect our civil rights, workers'
rights, and the environment," said Carl Pope, Executive Director of the
Sierra Club. "The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has a unique role in
protecting our water, air, and natural heritage. Justice Brown poses a
serious threat to those protections."
Justice Brown is opposed to federal government regulation, including
environmental protections. She interprets the Constitution in such a
way that virtually all environmental regulation could be ruled
unconstitutional. According to Brown, government destroys families,
takes property, is the cause of a "debased, debauched culture," and
threatens civilization. In addition, the California Judicial
Nominations Evaluation Commission twice gave Brown a "not qualified"
rating, reflecting a lack of needed judicial temperament and intolerance
for opposing philosophical positions.
In the wake of Justice Brown's confirmation, the Sierra Club urges
Senators to oppose the confirmation of William Pryor to the Eleventh
Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Pryor has a clear record of trying to
undermine the federal government's right to protect the environment.
Mr. Pryor has taken stands against the Endangered Species Act, wetlands
protection, and environmental justice. He does not believe Congress has
authority to regulate the environment or natural resources. His
previous nomination was rushed through the Judiciary Committee before a
full investigation into his fund-raising for the Republican Attorneys
General Association (RAGA), actions which may have violated Alabama
campaign finance laws.
"The Sierra Club opposes Mr. Pryor's confirmation because of his strong
opposition to the laws that protect America's clean air, water and
wildlife," said Pope. "But certainly the Senate should at least know
the full facts behind the fund-raising practices Mr. Pryor engaged in