Posts tagged ‘JRB’

JRB For the Supreme Court

Captains Quarters suggested that Bush nominate Janice Rogers Brown for the Supreme Court.  Though it will never happen, I am 100% behind this idea.  I never even heard of her until I started reading statements attributed to her by her opponents that were supposed to convince me of her unfitness for the bench.  And you know what, the more I read, the more I liked her.  Also here.

Republicans Running Away from Property Rights?

Readers of this blog will know that every time I have read condemnations of Janice Rogers Brown with quotes from her that are "out of the mainstream", I have become more enamored of her. 

JRB is opposed by the left and the Democratic Party because she is a strong supporter of property rights against government intervention.  Reason has an interesting article noting that while Democrats in Congress were quick to attack her small government libertarianism, Republicans pointedly did not in turn embrace it.  First, a reminder of why Brown makes everyone nervous:

Property and contract are, for her, the lifeblood of liberty; and when, in
the late 1930s, the country and the Supreme Court began treating property
rights cavalierly, they set loose an inexorably advancing leviathan state.
To Brown, moreover, it makes no sense to treat speech and privacy rights as
sacrosanct but property rights as trivial, when the Founders viewed all
those rights as of a piece.

More striking than Brown's philosophy is her tendency to express it in
language reminiscent of Barry Goldwater in his intemperate prime. In a 2000
speech to the Federalist Society in Chicago, she said, "We no longer find
slavery abhorrent. We embrace it. We demand more. Big government is not just
the opiate of the masses. It is the opiate: the drug of choice for
multinational corporations and single moms; for regulated industries and
rugged Midwestern farmers and militant senior citizens." She spoke of the
Supreme Court's belated acquiescence to the New Deal as "the Revolution of
1937," resulting today in "a debased, debauched culture." There is much more
in this vein, and not just in her speeches. In a 2002 dissent involving a
San Francisco housing regulation, she declared that private property "is now
entirely extinct in San Francisco," replaced by "a neo-feudal regime."

And the Republic response?

Otherwise, Republicans ran away from Brown's ideas as fast as their legs
could carry them. Specter listed, approvingly, government regulations she
has upheld. Sessions: "She has ruled on hundreds of cases affirming
government regulations, for heaven's sake." Sen. Jim DeMint, (R-S.C.):
"While she would likely describe herself as a person who believes in small
government and limited regulations ... Justice Brown has voted consistently
to uphold economic, environmental, consumer, and labor regulations." Lott:
"She has consistently voted to uphold regulations in every walk of life."
You would almost think she was Walter Mondale.

It is depressing to me to think the Republican party is returning to its 1970's big-government conservative roots.

Where Our Founding Fathers Extremist?

Certainly King George III would have considered our founding fathers extremist.  But apparently, they may be considered extremist even today, at least by the left.

In my earlier post on Janice Rogers Brown, I quoted JRB saying:

"Where government moves in, community
retreats, civil society disintegrates. . . . When government advances . . .
freedom is imperiled, civilization itself [is] jeopardized."

I noted that both the NY Times and the People for the American Way use this quote to say that JRB is "extremist".  I said, in response, "I bet I could find about 20 similar quotes in the Federalist Papers or from other contributors to the US Constitution."  Of course, I was too lazy to go looking for quotes, but Gary Galles of the Mises Blog was not.  He has hunted down many examples, but I will quote his work on the JRB quote above:

Janice Rogers Brown: "Where government advances"”and it advances
relentlessly"”freedom is imperiled...When did government cease to be a necessary
evil and become a goody bag to solve our private problems?"
: "Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in
its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable
George Mason: "Every society, all government, and
every kind of civil compact therefore, is or ought to be, calculated for the
general good and safety of the community. Every power, every authority vested in
particular men is, or ought to be, ultimately directed at this sole end; and
whenever any power or authority whatever extends further...than is in its nature
necessary for these purposes, it may be called government, but it is in fact
Thomas Jefferson: "˜What more is necessary to
make us a happy and a prosperous people?...a wise and frugal Government, which
shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to
regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from
the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good

Go read them all.  And remember, he is taking all the JRB quotes right off the People for the American Way site, who have posted the quotes to scare us about what an extremist she is.

What is "Extreme"?

Per the Washington Post:

But Democrats recited a litany of Brown's controversial statements, including
several from a 2000 speech titled "Fifty Ways to Lose Your Freedom." She said
senior citizens "blithely cannibalize their grandchildren because they have a
right to get as much 'free' stuff as the political system will permit them to
extract." Elsewhere, Brown has said: "Where government moves in, community
retreats, civil society disintegrates. . . . When government advances . . .
freedom is imperiled, civilization itself [is] jeopardized."

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) told reporters that Brown is "one of
the most extreme nominees that has ever come before the United States Senate in
the 32 years I've been a senator."

OK, so I am an extremist.  Take in particular the last quote from Brown - I bet I could find about 20 similar quotes in the Federalist Papers or from other contributors to the US Constitution.  That quote should be over the front door of the ACLU.  This is the second time I have read statements about her that were intended to scare me off but in fact endeared me to her. The first example was here.

Update:  People for the American Way have other JRB comments that are supposed to scare me, but don't.  Here is an example of what scares PFTAW:

In the New Deal/Great Society era, a rule that was the polar opposite of the
classical era of American law reigned...Protection of property was a major
casualty of the Revolution of 1937"¦Rights were reordered and property acquired a
second class status...It thus became government's job not to protect property
but, rather, to regulate and redistribute it. And, the epic proportions of the
disaster which has befallen millions of people during the ensuing decades has
not altered our fervent commitment to statism.

I am starting to wish she was running for office, so I could vote for her.  Reason has similar thoughts here.

Update #2:  Reason has a profile of her here.  Many more great quotes from her, including this gem:

In a dissent in San Remo Hotel v. City and County of San Francisco
(2002), which upheld the city's sweeping property restrictions, Justice Brown
expanded on that theme. "Theft is still theft even when the government approves
of the thievery," she declared. "The right to express one's individuality and
essential human dignity through the free use of property is just as important as
the right to do so through speech, the press, or the free exercise of religion."

Go Janice, go.