Appointing a Black woman to the U.S. Supreme Court will change little about Black America’s perception of President Joe Biden. This nomination will not compensate for his blatant bigotry, discriminatory vaccine mandates, and history of opposing minorities – namely Black women – to serve on the federal bench. The Biden team will try and fail in this latest attempt at pandering for the Black vote.
Democrats knew Biden was in trouble while attempting to win over Black voters in the Presidential campaign. Even the two Black Democrat presidential candidatesattacked Biden on his horrible record on race both on and off the debate stage. Looking for a political carrot to offer to the Black community, Rep. Jim Clyburn pushed Biden to float the idea of nominating a Black woman to the Supreme Court to win over Black voters in the primary.
The Associated Press’s Meg Kinnard weighed in on Clyburn’s suggestion: “At President Joe Biden’s lowest moment in the 2020 campaign, South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn came to him with a suggestion: He should pledge to put the first Black woman on the Supreme Court. After some cajoling, Biden made the promise at a Democratic debate, a move Clyburn credits with turning out the Black support that helped Biden score a resounding victory in the South Carolina primary and ultimately win the White House.”
Biden’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination has absolutely nothing to do with a long-hailed belief or commitment to diversify the Court. At its core, this is political pandering to Black people. Joe Biden has spent his entire life in the U.S. Senate on the Judiciary Committee opposing and blocking Black women, and other qualified minority judicial nominees, from getting on the bench and evening out the U.S. Supreme Court.
Biden and Democrats are lying when they say that this is about diversity, inclusion, and having a Court that is representative of America. If that were the case they would have never attempted to besmirch the character, ruin, and end the nomination of Justice Clarence Thomas who called the experience led by then-Senator Joe Biden “a high-tech lynching.”
When President Trump nominated a Black woman, Judge Ada E. Brown, to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Texas in 2019, Democrats could have cared less about having a Black woman serving on the federal bench. 13 Democrats voted against her, including female Democrat U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, Maria Cantwell, Catherine Cortez Masto, Kirsten Gillibrand, Mazie Hirono, Patty Murray, and Debbie Stabenow. Then-Senator Kamala Harris decided not to vote either way for Judge Ada E. Brown.
Biden and Democrats are dishonest when they say this pick is because we have never had a Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court. Had the Democrats not fought against women like Ada E. Brown and Janice Rogers Brown, we could have had a nominee by now.
Justice Janice Rogers Brown is a mentor of mine. She was first appointed by Republican Governor Pete Wilson to be an Associate Justice on the California Court of Appeal and then the California Supreme Court from 1996-2005. For almost two years Joe Biden forgot about his passion for Black women on the bench as he joined Senate Democrats in filibustering her nomination to the D.C. Circuit. President George W. Bush was positioning her to go to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Biden didn’t even want that Black woman on a lower court.
Every president will pick judicial nominees who reflect their own judicial perspective. We should not be surprised when Republican presidents or governors find judges to appoint that reflect their conservative views. If the issue was purely about racial diversity, if the issue was purely about having a Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, Democrats like Joe Biden would have had no issue with Black women and other minorities appointed by Republicans on the bench.
Biden and Democrats in Congress want a LIBERAL on the bench, not a Black woman who doesn’t pass their radical litmus test for appointment. This is not about equality, justice, or fairness. It is about making sure there is a liberal replacement for a liberal judge on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Republican senators have an obligation to examine the record, temperament, and judicial philosophy for anyone that is nominated for this lifetime appointment — no matter their color, sex, or creed.
Echoing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Former Democrat Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said it best, “Biden’s mistake: He should not be choosing a Supreme Court justice based on the color of their skin or sex, but rather on their qualifications and commitment to uphold our Constitution and the freedoms guaranteed to all Americans in that document which is the foundation of our nation.”
No matter who the nominee is, after the headlines fade, and this nomination plays its course, the dismal socio-economic, health, public safety, and education realities for millions of Black Americans will have not changed under this Biden-Harris Administration, and they don’t seem to care.
Paris Dennard is the National Spokesperson and Director of Black Media Affairs for the Republican National Committee (RNC). Follow him on Twitter: @PARISDENNARD.