[CUA Office of Public Affairs]           

                                                                                    April 25, 2003


California Supreme Court Justice to Speak at CUA Law School Commencement

Janice Rogers Brown Reportedly is a Potential Supreme Court Nominee


An influential, articulate and highly principled jurist, whose life is an emphatic affirmation of the American dream, Janice Rogers Brown, associate justice of the California Supreme Court, will deliver the 2003 Commencement Address at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law.


Justice Janice Rogers Brown

The ceremony will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 24, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, located at 400 Michigan Avenue NE, Washington, D.C. 


The daughter of a sharecropper, born in the Deep South during a segregated era, Justice Brown is, in the words of law school Dean Douglas W. Kmiec, the “master of her own fate, refusing to be held back or embittered by man’s discrimination.”


Reportedly under active consideration by the White House for a future vacancy on the Supreme Court, she can recall spending summers as a pre-teen helping her grandfather in the cotton fields. She also remembers the pain of the Jim Crow laws — of "people who have to deal with a system that is fundamentally unfair, that dehumanizes and marginalizes them."


Known for her independent views and willingness to speak her mind, Justice Brown’s judicial philosophy is guided by the knowledge that “freedom and responsibility are joined at the hip.”


Appointed to the high court of the nation’s most populous state in 1996, Justice Brown has served the people of California in a variety of high posts prior to her current position. They include associate justice of the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento; legal affairs secretary to Gov. Pete Wilson; deputy secretary and general counsel for the state's Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, and eight years in the Attorney General's Office, where she worked in both the criminal and civil divisions. She also spent several years as an associate with a private sector firm. She graduated from California State University and earned her law degree from UCLA law school.


A devoted mother and spouse, and a jurist who finds her paramount strength in prayer and the quiet study of the Bible, Justice Brown will receive the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, during the ceremony.


MEDIA: For more information, contact Tom Haederle at 202-319-5438 or e-mail:

haederle@law.edu. A photo of Justice Brown is available.







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Revised: 4/25/2003

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The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.