Legislating From The Bench

Ken AshfordCourts/LawLeave a Comment

When the President came out against "legislating from the bench" did that mean he’s no longer supporting Janice Rogers Brown? Here’s the Alliance for Justice’s writeup:

Justice Brown’s disdain for government runs so deep that she urges “conservative” judges to invalidate legislation that expands the role of government, saying that it “inevitably transform[s]… a democracy … into a kleptocracy.” Following her own “pro-activist” advice, Justice Brown – always in dissent – uses constitutional provisions or defies the legislature’s intent to restrict or invalidate laws she doesn’t like, such as California’s anti-discrimination statute (which she condemns as protecting only “narrow” personal interests), hotel development fees intended to preserve San Francisco’s affordable housing supply, rent control ordinances, statutory fees for manufacturers that put lead-based products into the stream of commerce, and a false advertising law applied to companies making false claims about their workplace practices to boost sales. Justice Brown’s colleagues on the court have repeatedly remarked on her disrespect for such legislative policy judgments, criticizing her, in different cases, for “imposing … [a] personal theory of political economy on the people of a democratic state”; asserting “such an activist role for the courts”; “quarrel[ing]… not with our holding in this case, but with this court’s previous decision … and, even more fundamentally, with the Legislature itself”; and “permit[ting] a court … to reweigh the policy choices that underlay a legislative or quasi-legislative classification or to reevaluate the efficacy of the legislative measure.”

Food for thought? Of course not. Just rank hypocrisy.