by Steven Ertelt
June 7, 2005
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed pro-life federal appeals court nominee Janice Rogers Brown on a 56 to 43 vote. Minutes after the vote, the Senate approved ending the filibuster of pro-life former Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor’s nomination to another appeals court.
"Justice Brown is a highly qualified nominee," Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said on the Senate floor. "She’s kind, she’s smart, she’s thoughtful. She’s endured a detracted and often bitter nominations process with grace and dignity. It’s been a long road to get to this point."
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, disagreed.
"We should reject all nominees who twist the law to advance their own ideological bent," he said, claiming Brown put her political views ahead of interpreting the law.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, said abortion advocates were usually the ones to press for judicial activism.
"Some of the leading groups opposed to Janice Brown oppose her precisely because she will faithfully interpret the law rather than remaking it according to her own theory of justice," Hatch said.
The Senate voted 65-32 on Tuesday to stop the filibuster abortion advocates, mostly Democrats, in the Senate had been using against her.
Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson was the only Democrat to support Brown’s nomination. Otherwise, all Senate Republicans voted for her nomination while Senate Democrats opposed her. Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords, an independent who sides with Democrats, did not vote.
Pro-abortion lawmakers voted against Brown, on the advice of groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, because of her position against abortion.
In 1997, Brown issued a well-researched dissent in a case where the California Supreme Court overturned a pro-life law requiring abortion facilities to obtain parental consent before performing an abortion on a teenage girl.
Brown was appointed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, regarded as the nation’s second highest court. President Bush named Pryor to the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Last week, the Senate confirmed the nomination of pro-life Texas Supreme Court judge Priscilla Owen to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.