Bench Memos

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Boxer-Feinstein v. Owen-Brown: Who’s Mainstream?


At a press conference yesterday billed as “Women’s Groups Against Nominees,” featuring liberal left groups like NARAL, National Abortion Federation, National Organization for Women, and Planned Parenthood, Feminist Majority, and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) denounced as extremist Justice Priscilla Owen and Justice Janice Rogers Brown.

Boxer declared that Justice Owen has ruled on “a series of issues where she’s hostile to the people.” What Justice Brown “wants to do to our lives and other peoples’ lives” is “frightening,” she said. To “use these two women nominees to say that the Republicans care about women, you know, is like saying that Clarence Thomas has ruled in favor of African Americans, when in fact he has been the leader on the opposite side.”

Boxer reveals her deep ignorance of the role of judges in our constitutional system and her inability to see beyond the liberal left view that judges can rule for any party or idea they find sympathetic or attractive. She can’t even conceive that a judge is supposed to be a neutral umpire, applying the laws as written, without partiality.

Even more ironic is the idea that Boxer and her ilk would pronounce on who is “extreme” and who is “mainstream.”

In her last election, Boxer was supported by 58% of the voters in California; California’s other Senator, Diane Feinstein, won only 56% of the vote. Justice Brown was supported by 76% of Californians in her reelection to the California Supreme Court, and 84% of Texans voted in the last election for Justice Owen.


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