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State Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown has been nominated to the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the White House announced Friday. A 54-year-old, conservative black woman, Brown has long been considered an ideal choice for a Bush administration appointment. The daughter of a sharecropper, she rose steadily in California Republican circles after graduating from the UCLA School of Law. Gov. Pete Wilson appointed her to the state court of appeal in 1995 and to the California Supreme Court a year later. But Brown’s biography may not save her from a tough confirmation battle. Her conservative — and often tart-tongued — opinions will likely trigger protests from Senate Democrats. If she is confirmed, Brown could also be on track for the U.S. Supreme Court. The D.C. Circuit is often seen as the second-highest perch in the federal court system because of its jurisdiction over claims against the U.S. government. Three of the current Supreme Court justices — Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — served on that court. The nomination has been expected for the last few weeks as word leaked that the FBI and Justice Department were interviewing Brown’s colleagues as part of the background checks for the nomination.

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