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Wed, 05.11.1949

A Conservative Southern Voice, Judge Janice Brown

Janice R. Brown

*Janice Brown was born on this date in 1949. She was a Black lawyer and judge.

From Laverne, Alabama, Janice Rogers Brown attended segregated schools because there was no other opportunity for her to receive an education. She says, her family believed that change would come.  At an early age, Rogers witnessed the day in 1954 when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision on the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas. She recalls seeing her grandmother running across the street from her uncle's house shouting, "They did it! Thank God, they did it!"

Her family moved to Sacramento, Calif., when she was in her teens, and she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University in Sacramento. Brown gradated in 1974 and received her law degree from UCLA in 1977. From there Brown became a Deputy Attorney General (1979-87), Deputy Secretary and General Counsel, California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency (1987-89). From 1989-91 she worked for Nielsen, Mersamer, Parrinello & Mueller, Sacramento, CA.

Brown was also Legal Affairs Secretary to Governor Pete Wilson from 1991-94.  In 1994 she was on the Third District Court of Appeal (a post she served until 1996).  From May of 1996 Brown has been an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court.   In July of 2003, President George W. Bush nominated Brown for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Several civil rights groups nationally due to her conservative values challenged this appointment.

Her  post regularly decides challenges to administrative policy and is considered a steppingstone to the U.S. Supreme Court. Brown was confirmed on June 9, 2005.  Judge Janice Rogers Brown retired from active service on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in July 2017.  She had one child, Nathan A. Brown, adopted by her first husband, Allen E. Brown Sr., who died of cancer in 1988. She remarried in 1991 to jazz electric bassist Dewey Parker.

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