Americans United Deplores Senate Approval Of Janice Rogers Brown Judicial Nomination

AU's Lynn Says Brown Is Unfit To Serve On Federal Appeals Court Bench

Americans United for Separation of Church and State today deplored the Senate's confirmation of Janice Rogers Brown to a seat on the federal appeals court bench.

After contentious debate, the Senate voted 56-43 late today to approve Brown's nomination for the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia.

Americans United had urged senators to reject Brown's nomination, citing the former California Supreme Court justice's contempt for the First Amendment principle of church-state separation.

“The Bush administration's campaign to crowd the federal appeals courts with extremist judges was advanced today,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Brown has shown herself time and again to be a judge eager to destroy protections of civil liberties grounded in our Constitution. She is woefully lacking in judicial temperament and undeserving of lifetime appointment to the federal appeals court bench.”

In an April 20 letter to senators, Lynn cited a speech Brown gave at Pepperdine University titled “Beyond the Abyss: Restoring Religion on the Public Square.” In that speech, Brown argued against the federal court precedent that says the states are bound to uphold fundamental rights protected in the Constitution and that the Supreme Court has “relied on a rather uninformative metaphor of the ‘wall of separation of church and state.'”

In April before a church-sponsored breakfast for judges, Brown maintained that the nation was in war of Civil War proportions. She claimed these “are perilous times for people of faith, not in the sense that we are going to lose our lives, but in the sense that it will cost you something if you are a person of faith who stands up for what you believe in and say those things out loud.”

But AU's Lynn said the issue was not Brown's religious beliefs, but rather her lack of support for basic constitutional protections.

“Today the Senate has approved a judge who has revealed great contempt for or a seriously flawed understanding of our nation's Constitution,” he said.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.