Thomas Sowell

I first learned of the October 22nd hearings on the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown just a week before. Some people who are much better connected than I am had not been alerted at all.

Many individuals and groups who are concerned about the integrity of the courts were ready to try to help save this nomination, even at the eleventh hour, after they heard about it. But their efforts would have been more effective if they had been alerted months ago, as liberal-left organizations obviously were, since they have been turning out anti-Brown propaganda that long.

Whether efforts to save Justice Brown from bogus attacks are now too little and too late only time will tell. But whether those who send judicial nominees up to Capitol Hill will learn anything from all this is an even more serious question for the long run.

You cannot continue to send outstanding people to confirmation hearings to be led like lambs to the slaughter without finding, at some point, that more and more good people will refuse to play that role. There will always be warm bodies available with a "conservative" label but we have learned the hard way what to expect from such warm bodies when we see what Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy have done on the Supreme Court.

Among the people who are trying to do the job of educating the public that the administration should have done is the Committee for Justice, which has put out an excellent background paper on Justice Janice Rogers Brown. It is available on the Internet at

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate