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Sierra Club

JUNE 8, 2005
5:35 PM

CONTACT: Sierra Club
David Willett, 202-675-6698

Sierra Club Denounces Senate Confirmation of Justice Brown; Urges Defeat of Pryor
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 environmental safeguards.

"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 before voting."


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