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This Just In: Judge Is Nuts!

According to the New York Times of Thursday, June 8, 2005, there's a judge on the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit who holds some very strange views. Apparently this judge believes that every time the legislature, by democratic processes, regulates business, it  is comparable to "slavery" or "segregation."

How did such a judge get confirmed? Maybe it was a long time ago. Maybe the Senate didn't have enough information. I sure wish the Times would tell us...

Posted by Mark Schmitt on June 9, 2005 | Permalink


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I notice the NYT story quotes friends saying she's a 'serious intellectual'. There is so much evidence of that in her speeches. Why, she quotes Cicero, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Saint Paul and Ayn Rand! I know Mark delved into the wit and wisdom of Judge Brown before, but there's so much more, like this little cul de sac:

I know the idea that there is an extra constitutional dimension to constitutional law is heresy. And given our recent history, it is a very scary thought. But I am slowly coming to [think] it is hubris, carelessness, and lack of candor of judges that should concern us - not the label 'active' or 'passive'. If judges tell us honestly what they are doing, we do know something about the world view that animated the American Revolution and formed the basis of our constitutional documents. The Founders were committed to individual liberty. Liberty, not license. And not openness.

Full speech here , if you're feelin'.....groooovy. (pdf)

Posted by: jonnybutter | Jun 9, 2005 2:06:19 AM

God this woman scares me. In another 3 years Bush may have the judges needed to get rid of "slavery" caused by the EPA and FDA along with all government protections of workers. Way to go America.

Posted by: Joe Smith | Jun 9, 2005 9:34:36 AM

Money quote: She has often said that she has been guided through the challenges of her life and work by her deep Christian faith, and she has often argued that judges should look to higher authorities than precedent or manmade laws in making decisions.


Posted by: Horatio | Jun 9, 2005 10:59:52 AM

Next we'll be extraditing the blue collar criminal appellants to Syrian court and corporate appellants to a court in Tiawan or Malaysia or wherever business is most coddled. I can't believe this woman is going to be allowed to rule solo from an Appeals bench. I don't like the thought of her adjudicating even a traffic ticket.

Posted by: murky | Jun 9, 2005 11:43:04 AM

She has often said that she has been guided through the challenges of her life and work by her deep Christian faith, and she has often argued that judges should look to higher authorities than precedent or manmade laws in making decisions.

As soon as we get a court with a majority of judges who believe that US law should be ignored when making decisions, we can really make some progress.

Posted by: John Ashcroft | Jun 9, 2005 2:20:01 PM

Ah, where have all the Constitution-worshipping conservatives gone? You know, the ones that rail about original intent. Are they happy about this?

Posted by: Michael J.W. Stickings | Jun 9, 2005 3:47:21 PM

Ah, where have all the Constitution-worshipping conservatives gone? You know, the ones that scream bloody murder whenever original intent is at stake. Are they happy about this?

Posted by: Michael J.W. Stickings | Jun 9, 2005 3:47:55 PM

Well, she won't be going solo. Appellate judges operate as panels.

She does seem to be quite insane, however.

This is the point about courts, however, and one that liberals should learn. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Liberals have relied on federal courts for years to uphold liberal interpretations of laws in defiance of popular opinion. The conservatives are starting to play the same game.

Posted by: Marc Schneider | Jun 10, 2005 4:33:15 PM

FDA and EPA and other governmental oversight agencies are already largely inefectual entities enslaved to the corporations who support/control them, e.g., VIOXX debacle.

I would suggest the lesson to be learn from this particular nomination is that the Democrats in the Senate are non-existent and have no backbone to go to war with the Ultra Right...

Posted by: NBT | Jun 13, 2005 6:49:54 AM

I don't know about Brown well enough however the post above about the left using the courts the way they have paved the way for conservatives to learn from that. We have judges on both sides who believe they are the ultimate power with lifelong appointments. If the state votes down gay marriage, the judge can rule it unconstitutional and overturn it. If they rule in favor or something prochoice a conservative will overturn it.

We have a system of checks and balances but there are no checks or balances on these judges whether they are activist conservative or liberal judges. They should be elected positions and not lifelong appointments. Let the people decide and get the politicians out of the process.

Posted by: Adam | Jun 13, 2005 9:07:24 PM

What I find most fascinating is that not a single conserv or Repub has denounced Judge Brown for equating legislators, voters, or government agencies with Slaveholders. Considering the clamor for Democrats to publicly rebuke Senator Durbin for his recent "Nazi/Gulag" statements, it seems to be the "fair and balanced" thing to do.

Posted by: vince | Jun 20, 2005 9:27:38 PM

It was unspeakably disheartening to have our own side bail on the Nuclear Option. What have we left to stand up for if not against this?

She's just as likely to find court directives in the image of the Virgin Mary on toast.

Posted by: MF Sterling-Golden | Jun 21, 2005 12:49:38 PM

http://www.hsi.net/wwwboard/messages/17229.html higherloosertaste

Posted by: following | Sep 6, 2005 3:09:30 AM

http://www.elcwp.org/wwwboard/messages/1363.html clothinggamessickening

Posted by: exquisitely | Sep 20, 2005 5:37:53 AM

http://depts.washington.edu/~transctr/wwwboard/messages/881.html complimentwhosewondered

Posted by: outstretched | Oct 2, 2005 10:27:15 AM