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If President George W. Bush nominates Judge Janice Rogers Brown to the Supreme Court, there will now be at least one federal court opinion of hers for senators and interest groups to pick apart. Amid speculation that Brown could be picked as the next nominee, the controversial appeals court judge released her first written opinion for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last week. Brown was part of a three-judge panel that ruled that the Peace Corps did not have to make public documents related to a volunteer’s resignation. The volunteer, who was allegedly having nonconsensual sexual relations with a teenage boy, made a request for the records under the Freedom of Information Act. There were traces of Brown’s characteristically sharp narrative tone in the opinion, but she held back on the rhetorical fireworks that infused her work on the California Supreme Court. The Oct. 28 opinion was joined by Judges David Tatel and Harry Edwards. Meanwhile, an overnight survey by GOPUSA released Friday showed strong support for Brown as a nominee. Nearly half of the 1,000 “primarily conservative” Republicans polled want Brown on the high court. The runner-up was Priscilla Owen, a 5th Circuit judge who received 12 percent support. The two women went through a bruising confirmation battle together on Capitol Hill. “This is the Republican base speaking out,” says Bobby Eberle, the president of GOPUSA. Nearly all of the respondents said judicial philosophy was very important, but race or gender was not.
Lily Henning can be contacted at [email protected].

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