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Winning California - Round Two
By Bruce Walker
The dreary and predictable pattern of an intolerant Democrat minority attempting to obstruct reforms in our government by the Republican majority is being played out in the confirmation hearings of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Brown, nominated to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals.
Janice Brown is the perfect example of the American Dream coming true. Born in 1949 Alabama one year after Democrat Strom Thurmond left for the States Rights' Democratic Party because Harry Truman, the only American president who ever joined the Ku Klux Klan, was not racist enough for him, Janice Brown should have become another social statistic.
This daughter of a sharecropper, trapped in the one-party Democrat rule of Jim Crow, beat the odds because she believed the odds were beatable. Janice Brown went to college, then to law school, and then began a long and distinguished climb up to a seat on the highest state court in America. She lived precisely the life that Democrats pretend to want for blacks.
Except, of course, she retained her individuality. Justice Brown is a libertarian who is also a devoutly pious Christian. She is personally charming, but also sharply direct when fantasies are paraded as facts. How does this play in California, consistently portrayed as the most liberal state in the nation?
In the last ten years, there have been ten retention elections for California Supreme Court justices. When Justice Brown stood for retention in 1998, she received 75.91% of the vote and carried every single county in California. That retention vote was higher than any other California Supreme Court justice during that ten years. The people of California like Justice Brown and do not see her as a threat to their liberties and rights.
Why, then, have Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer not seen fit to support Janice Brown's nomination to the Court of Appeals? She does not fit into that narrow, bigoted, rigid mind-set that is totalitarian leftism. Placing her on a federal appellate court would open the door to elevating her to the United States Supreme Court - leftists see through all this trickery! - just as Miguel Estrada might have come to sit on the highest court of the land.
There is, of course, no trickery at all involved. President Bush obviously intends to do just what leftists fear and appoint principled, bright, honorable and conservative minorities onto the Supreme Court. Those who genuinely cared about blacks, Hispanics, women and others who feel left out of the American establishment would surely want these groups represented on the Supreme Court. But leftists genuinely care only about power.
Only when acting badly costs them power will Leftists cease to act badly. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is a non-leftist, demonstrated the consequences to leftists of acting badly in the recall election. Justice Brown should teach Democrats the same lesson in November 2004. If Democrats bottle up her nomination, then Justice Brown should run as the Republican candidate against Barbara Boxer.
Democrats will no doubt shriek that this is mixing judges and politics, but this has always been the case in American politics. Today, for example, Democrats are brazenly trying to keep the judicial philosophy of American government as far to the left as possible.
But judges have often been politicians and politicians have often been judges. In the Twentieth Century, the two major parties each nominated judges as their presidential candidate - Charles Evans Hughes in 1912 and Alton Parker in 1904. Two candidates for president - Hughes and William Howard Taft - later became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Earl Warren was Governor of California before becoming Chief Justice of the United States.
Throughout most of American history, it has been assumed that judges should live in the real world and deal with political issues and that elected executives and legislators should care about the policies of people appointed to the bench. The Left began to create the myth of a hygienic separation of court and politics when Americans began to reject leftism at the ballot box.
What is tantalizing about Janice Brown as a Senate candidate is that she could confront directly Barbara Boxer and the two of them could debate policy before the people of California. Justice Brown is smart, civil and persuasive. She would expose the ignorance and the selfishness of Boxer fairly quickly.
The Brown candidacy would do what many Republicans hope the Schwarzenegger election will do: put California in play for Republicans at every level. Consider the diverse groups who would look at Justice Brown favorably. Social moderates, those who supported Schwarzenegger, would like her libertarian streak. Social conservatives, who supported Tom McClintock, would admire her deeply held religious beliefs.
She could easily win the black vote, particularly if Republicans like J.C. Watts, Condi Rice, Alan Keyes and Armstrong Williams conspicuously stumped with her. Hispanic voters would appreciate an ethnic candidate winning the Senate race, and they would also like her religious values. Some visits by George P. Bush would also help win Hispanics.
Matt Fong ran against Barbara Boxer in 1998 and lost. East Asian voters might well support someone who would oust Boxer and someone who believes in college admission based upon merit. If Bobby Jindal becomes Governor of Louisiana, he might well visit California as well to help sway Indian-American voters to support Brown.
Well respected men like Tom McClintock and Richard Riordan could enthusiastically back Janice Brown, as could President Bush and Governor Schwarzenegger. She would unite the Republican Party almost completely behind her candidacy. And Justice Brown would do what Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rudy Giuliani and Bobby Jindal and many other lesser known Republicans are doing: bring sparkle and excitement to contrast with the monotonous whining of Democrats.
If Janice Brown was elected to the United States Senate after having defeated Barbara Boxer, then Winning California - Round Two would have been over. It is almost impossible to overestimate the impact that would have on American politics.
Bruce Walker is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a frequent
contributor to The Pragmatist and The Common Conservative.
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