Senate Democrats

Senator Kennedy, Civil Rights Leaders Stand up for Checks and Balances

Denounce Republicans for abusing power by attempting to put nominees on the courts that will roll back rights

WASHINGTON, DC – Civil Rights leaders Julian Bond (Chairman, NAACP), Judy Lichtman (President, National Partnership for Women and Families) and Wade Henderson (Executive Director, LCCR) joined Senators Ted Kennedy, Patrick Leahy and Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton to stand up for checks and balances, and denounce Republicans for abusing power by attempting to put nominees on the courts that will roll back fundamental rights.

“Civil Rights is still the unfinished business of America,” said Senator Ted Kennedy. “Since I joined the United States Senate, I’ve fought to ensure that America honors its promise of equal justice for all. I supported passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Title IX, and the ADA, all of which have helped make America a stronger, fairer land. But these laws can’t protect civil rights without fair judges to enforce them. That’s why we must prevent the confirmation of judges like Janice Rogers Brown and Terrence Boyle, who would roll back basic rights and erase much of this country’s hard-fought progress toward equality and opportunity.”

Janice Rogers Brown’s own judicial opinions show that she has consistently used her position to advocate for an extreme ideological agenda. In 1999, in the case of Aguilar v. Avis Rent-A-Car, she argued that racial slurs are protected by the first amendment, even when they rise to the level of illegal race discrimination.

More recently, Janice Rogers Brown argued a bank employee could not file an age or race discrimination lawsuit under California’s Fair Employment Law based on the National Banking Act of 1864. She made this argument despite the fact that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination and Employment Act clearly superseded the 135-year-old banking law.