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June 09, 2005

Rogers Brown says democracy is slavery

Why is the New York Times providing cover for a zealot like Janice Rogers Brown with a headline like this: Latest Confirmed Nominee Sees Slavery in Liberalism?

WASHINGTON, June 8 - Janice Rogers Brown, the African-American daughter of Alabama sharecroppers who was confirmed Wednesday to the federal appeals court here, often invokes slavery in describing what she sees as the perils of liberalism.

"In the heyday of liberal democracy, all roads lead to slavery," she has warned in speeches. Society and the courts have turned away from the founders' emphasis on personal responsibility, she has argued, toward a culture of government regulation and dependency that threatens fundamental freedoms.

"We no longer find slavery abhorrent," she told the conservative Federalist Society a few years ago. "We embrace it." She explained in another speech, "If we can invoke no ultimate limits on the power of government, a democracy is inevitably transformed into a kleptocracy - a license to steal, a warrant for oppression."

"Liberal democracy" doesn't mean liberal democracy--it means democracy. Janice Rogers Brown is saying that democracy is slavery.


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» Deal ends filibuster on judicial nominee Brown from Political News and Blog Aggregator
The Senate ended the filibuster of California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown on Tuesday w [Read More]

» Fair and balanced from Malkin(s)Watch
Charlie Rangel: Oh, the outrage. Janice Rogers Brown: ... [Read More]

» Democracy enslaves: a mainstream appeal from The Disenchanted Forest
Janice Rogers Brown, that nice, non-activist judge, has decided to assuage our fears by showing how far from the extremes of conservatism she is. In speeches referenced in the NYT, Brown has declared, as Lindsay notes, that Democracy leads to Slavery... [Read More]

» Janice Rogers Brown on slaves and slavery from Mark in Mexico
This is a hatchet job if ever there was one. It is supposed to be a biography, I think. It really is an attack piece written from Ted Kennedy’s website. From the headline, New Judge Sees Slavery in Liberalism, through the first three paragraphs... [Read More]


So Janice Rogers Brown has read Ayn Rand, how does that qualify her for the Court of Appeals?

democracy is slavery

Just a hop, skip and a jump from the original "Freedom is Slavery"

To be fair, she makes it conditional; democracy with unlimited government power is slavery. But I find it no more convincing when she says it than when Nozick says it. Power taken away from the government rarely ends up in the hands of individuals controlling their own lives, the way the libertarians always imagine. It just moves to other centers of power (businesses, gangs, etc.)

I would guess that the times is motivated entirely to sell papers, and for a reason we are ignorant of, this article would increase sales.

But what do I know?


Janice Rogers Brown is not qualified to be a federal judge. But, she has been confirmed as such. Time to move on. In reality, there is no evidence I have seen to show that any of the Bush administration are qualified to lead the country. But, the voters thought otherwise, so they will do so until 2009.

'"In the heyday of liberal democracy, all roads lead to slavery," she has warned in speeches. Society and the courts have turned away from the founders' emphasis on personal responsibility, she has argued, toward a culture of government regulation and dependency that threatens fundamental freedoms. '

Yeah, those founding fathers were such anti-slavery heroes, except for that little incident of codifying their approval of it in the founding document of our nation.

If I follow the logic, the Times can now claim to have covered Brown's appointment and confirmation, albeit after the matter was foreclosed and this issue mote. Bob Keller at his best. And so the NYT renounces greatness to embrace mediocrity flavored with mendacity.

I think Janice's status as a "serious intellectual" is confirmed her belief "that some things are, in fact, right and some things are, in fact, wrong," a stunning rebuke to those who, um, don't.

You know, here's what I don't get? Amnesty International makes a stupid hyperbolic comment in which it compared the U.S.'s secret and illegal prison camps to Soviet gulags and gets blasted. Ok, fair enough. I agree, it was a gross exageration.

BUT! Then why, when a Republican judicial appointee compares liberals and liberal democracies to human bondage and slavery, no one comments on that judge's intellectually lazy and morally questionable gross exageration? She actually equated gov't regulation with the shackles, whips, chains and other horrors of the antebellum American South! Personally, I find such an analogy outrageous and extremely offensive.

I guess you guys are right, after all when she blows off fifty years of Supreme Court rulings and Federal Bench rulings she obviously knows something that the rest of the justices don't.

Social Security, clean water act, health and safety standards in the work place, the forty hour work week, minimum wage... oh the slavery of it all!

""Liberal democracy" doesn't mean liberal democracy--it means democracy. Janice Rogers Brown is saying that democracy is slavery."

During the 1600s and the 1700s, when modern liberal theory was taking shape, many of its best theorists, like Locke and Bentham and Jefferson and then later Mill, thought democracy dangerous because the majority had the power to violate the rights of minorities. What developed, as liberalism developed, was a new theory of democracy, a democracy where the majority was empowered only to a point, and minorities were understood to have certain rights that no majority could ever take away.

This is difference between "democracy" and "liberal democracy". A liberal democracy has safe guards for minorities.

Hey wait a minute. Slavery can't be a universal condition can it?. Don't there have to be slaveholders?
I'm getting this weird B-movie image of half-naked sweating slave-toilers hauling huge blocks of stone through a torch-lit landscape, only there's no one at the top of the pyramid! Or food-chain. Or whatever it is that you get to be on top of when there's slaves and slavery. Like for instance, Wal-Mart labor practices, for instance. Only in Brown's lib-dem dystopia there's no Walton family, just computer-generated paychecks coming out of nowhere. The worst kind of slavery, with not even a place for Rhett Butler to stand waiting for Scarlet to come tripping down the stairs.

Aside from her obvious (to me, anyway) lack of qualifications (Orrin Hatch be damned), it seems to me the NYT is salving its own conscience or something, printing a smackdown like this the day after the nominee has been confirmed. What in the world prevented the paper from doing this a few days ago? It just might have given a Republican Senator or two food for thought.

Politics of differentiation... no one was going to stop the wingnuts, but by reminding them of what they did... you have their real agenda unmasked.

Latest poll:

64% Disapproval of the job Congress is doing.
55% do not support bush's foreign policy
65% think the country is going in the wrong direction
59% do not approve of bush's handling of social security
57% do not support bush's handling of economy

Just a couple of observations.

1) This comes out *after* she is confirmed? Charming.

2) If this Judge really holds these beliefs, and to all appearances, she does, why is she working as a Judge and not hiding out in some cabin in Wyoming penning 'Unabomber' type screeds. At the very least, there is an irreconcileable gap between her position and her views which suggest moral and ethical bankruptcy. She is simply untrustworthy to do her job, in the same way that someone who expresses strong sexual interest in children is unfit to work in a day care.

3) To the person who was still smarting about Amnesty International's description of American Gulags... Dude, just get over it. Your country tortures people, your country tortures people to death, you country sends people to other countries to be tortured, your country maintains an international network of prisons and secret prisons where people are taken without arrest, detained without trial, held without evidence. The network of prisons includes ghost prisoners, who are held without records, in order to give a free hand. Your country has explicitly created this international network of prisons, particularly Guantanamo Bay, in order to escape and avoid any kind of legal or constitutional review, it seeks to operate beyond law. Now, as near as I can see, the only defense that you can offer to any of this, the only mitigating factor, is that it has not yet happened to you. I'm very happy for you. But it's time to wake up and accept that you are no longer living in your father's America.

Oh Canada...

1. There were a lot of Newspaper articles about her opinions and her records. It was all over the blogs as well. The mainstream press was being censored and the talking heads stuck to their "talking points."

Sort of like the same way that they suppressed the Downing Street memo until the whole world knew about it and it hurt Tony Blair in the elections.

2. They are her beliefs and its pretty sad. The Repubs always accuse the Dems of what it is they are about to do. Its the "best defense is a good offense" thang. Accuse the other party of having activist judges and stuff in a blatently activist judge of your own.

3. Torture... its the Christian thing to do!

Well, according to Brown's big fan in Mexico (see this trackback, Lindsay, Amanda and I are among those he considers "dictionary" challenged because among the definitions of slavery in the dictionary is: " 4. The condition of being subject or addicted to a specified influence." and "What Ms. Brown refers to as slaves and slavery is the condition of being subject or addicted to a specified influence, in this case big socialist government."

If this is how they defend her statements, I don't see how they dare chastise any misstatement by a Democrat.

The condition that Injustice Brown would subject us to and that to which she is addicted to is governance by big industry as was seen in the 1930's. She is an activist judgs in the "Constitution in Exile" camp and thinks that the 1930's was a fun time, "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Of Mice and Men" were comedies,and the "Trust" was a good thing.

She forgets that Republican President Teddy Roosevelt was the first to side with labor in the despute where the coal miners in Pennsylvania were trying to get their work day reduced to 14 hours a day in the mines. The mine owners walked out of the meetings at the White House and as that hundreds had already been killed, fearing civil war, Teddy called out Federal Troops in their behalf... the first President to side with labor.

Later came the Sherman Anti-trust act and the foundations of the "New Deal" were laid and expanded upon by FDR later. Wingnuts don't like to recall this period.

The judges getting confirmed nowadays are depressing as all hell. I'm grateful for the day I just had, as it gave me much needed cheer. The Richmond outreach coordinator for Planned Parenthood organized a petition drive, and 15 of us fanned out across the city, and in 2 hours we got almost 250 signatures, with a lot of people checking the box on the form that means they want to be invited to activist events in the future. We ended day out in the suburbs, holding signs like "Honk 4 Choice" at a busy intersection. We were in an area that used to be pro-life, but the majority of cars honked for us. It was an amazingly encouraging day.

"She is an activist judgs in the "Constitution in Exile" camp"

But, it seems to me, the Constitution is in exile. Those of us on the Left can't play the "We're only defending the rule of law" card when Terry Schiavo is dying and then turn around and honestly claim that the commerce clause gives the Federal government the power to do whatever it wants. If we want the Federal government to have the same powers as the State governments then we should fight for a Constitutional amendment that says so. In the meantime, we might as well admit that regime of constitutional law we currently live under has little to do with the written document.

The Supreme Court just shot down the right of States to legalize marajuna for the sick. The only dissenting Justice was Clarence Thomas. Though I don't recall agreeing with him on anything before, his reasoning in this case seems flawless to me:

Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything–and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.

Also from Thomas, in that same dissenting opinion:

"Monson and Raich neither buy nor sell the marijuana that they consume. They cultivate their cannabis entirely in the State of California–it never crosses state lines, much less as part of a commercial transaction. Certainly no evidence from the founding suggests that “commerce” included the mere possession of a good or some purely personal activity that did not involve trade or exchange for value. In the early days of the Republic, it would have been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the local cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana."


"Those of us on the Left can't play the "We're only defending the rule of law" card when Terry Schiavo is dying and then turn around and honestly claim that the commerce clause gives the Federal government the power to do whatever it wants."

Actually it wasn't about defending the rule of law... it was about "States Rights." The schiavo case was tried in state courts many times by Judge Greer and it was challenged and taken to the Eleventh Circuit court of appeals. That was then challenged and went to the Supreme Court and then back to the state court for disposition.

What Congress did was seek to invalidate a state court ruling that had been upheld all the way up to the Supreme Court, which is why Judge Birch noted in his ruling that intervention by the Executive and Legislative Branches were unconstituional in his ruling.

As to Medical Marijuana again the issue is states rights. The Federal Government is supposed to stay out of state affairs as Justice Thomas noted. The case presented was on the grounds that no interstate commerce was involved, hence the Feds should butt out.

The court took the position that it might some how get involved in interstate traffic so it nixed the argument. I found it interesting the Clarence Thomas was the dissenting voice and the argument that he used. I hadn't followed this one that closely.

"Actually it wasn't about defending the rule of law... it was about "States Rights.""

Anyone who is honest with themselves can see that our current regime of constitutional law is different from what is written in the document. Therefore I have sympathy with those who complain about the Constitution being in exile. It is puzzling that FDR didn't seek a Constitutional amendment in 1935 when the Supreme Court first shot down his reforms. FDR was the most popular President in history, if anyone could have gotten such an amendment, it would have been him. His decision to go ahead with reforms without getting an amendment has meant that since 1935 there has been a growing rift between what the Constitution says and what we interpret it to say.

Personally, I think it should be easier to get an amendment. As things stand now, the easiest way to change the Constition is to pack the Supreme Court with people who agree with your views. Appointing a Supreme Court justice depends on arbitrary factors such as when a current justice dies. A real democracy does not play games of chance with its constitution. Real representation means the people, when they want a change, can get one directly.

I agree with Lawrence. A real democracy uses the courts to ensure that the rules are enforced fairly for everyone, not to find new rules that aren't there. Courts are unelected, which prevents much of the corruption we see in other countries, but should in itself limit what courts can do. Courts should portect minorities from a mobacracy, whether their minority status is from religion, ethnicity, income, or other similar facotr. We shouldn't argue our most fundamental questions at confirmation hearings, we should be doing this at the ballot box and in our legislatures.

If Brown is referring to an unchecked democracy being a slavery, she's right. Democracy is alive and well now in much of Latin America and the results are often very tragic for the people. The wealthy create a system to protect themselves and in exchange promise goodies for the rest. Great if you're an elite or someone who likes handouts, but a disaster if you're trying to use your own endeavors to better your situation. It won't happen.

Judge Janice Rogers Brown was right...."in the heyday of liberal democracy all roads lead to slavery"...and now we can clearly see the face of America's socialist revulotion. Jeremiah Wright and the other nutty priest and their many other co-horts that now take center stage to repeat their 60's radical takeover through undemocratic means....using the might of the government and using the judicial system to further their utopian agenda.....LOL....but the Marxist devil is a liar always has been the heart and soul of America is now a witness....can not hide the truth from them anymore genie is out the bottle and it ain't going back in!

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