President Biden has assured America that his nominee to the Supreme Court will be a Black woman. Determining eligibility for a job solely based on skin color and sex and refusing to even consider the vast majority of eligible candidates (men and women of other ethnic backgrounds) should be rejected as a discriminatory mindset of the past, but this near octogenarian is willing to turn back the clock on progress purely for ideological reasons.
Let’s drop the pretense.
The Left’s excitement over this presumptive nominee is not based on her merits, but on a never-ending obsession with racial demagoguery and “intersectional” politics.
For this reason, I am not celebrating.
President Biden will fulfill a campaign promise to the Black community during Black History Month. The White House wants us to feel the historical weight and importance of this nomination.
It’s also convenient that the leaked news of Justice Stephen Breyer’s future departure distracted from President Biden’s sinking approval ratings and weeks of bad news from rising inflation to his failed domestic agenda and capped off by a blundering press conference fanning foreign-policy tensions on a global scale.
A SCOTUS nomination handed Biden a chance to reset the news-cycle and an opportunity to whip up excitement among base voters in advance of midterm elections.
For any president, the nomination is also a significant opportunity to place his mark on the Court well after his term has expired and to shape the direction of the High Court for generations.
There is ample excitement over any Supreme Court nomination.
President Biden did not need to exclude large swaths of the population from consideration for the seat. His promise to appoint a Black woman — and only a Black woman — to the first seat to open up was ill-advised for several reasons.
To begin with, President Biden created a sense of entitlement among specific constituencies that they all deserve representation on the Court. Here, Black women, who as I’ve written before are the Democratic Party’s most reliable voting block, expect to see “representation” on the High Court and the president endorsed that view calling the nomination “long overdue.”
Perhaps, it was a bargain he made to ensure their votes in 2020.
Other racial and gender constituencies are certain to line up: Hispanic men, Asian men and women, Native American men and women, LGBTQ, etc. The Supreme Court only has nine seats and vacancies don’t emerge regularly.
Perhaps this is why the Left wants to expand the number of seats on the Court. One seat for every conceivable intersectional category you can think of!
Demographic prerequisites also set up the eventual nominee for the inescapable criticism of tokenism. Anyone that President Biden nominates will qualify based upon merit; she will be competent, well educated, and experienced.
However, by telegraphing that he is only considering candidates with certain demographic characteristics, questions of tokenism will, inevitably, hang over her head.
But Biden’s promise also gives credence to the absurd argument that there is not currently Black representation on the Court. With a tenure of 30 years, the longest-serving member of the Supreme Court is Black, Justice Clarence Thomas.
The left intentionally disregards him and would delete him from history if they could, just as the Smithsonian Museum of African American History snubbed him.
They believe that Justice Thomas does not represent Blacks simply because of his political philosophy and jurisprudence.
This is the heart of the matter.
When the Left says it is time for a Black woman, they are not open to all qualified Black women, but one that they are confident will legislate their liberal agenda from the bench.
The Left would storm the White House if President Biden’s shortlist included Janice Rogers Brown (retired U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Judge), Allyson Kay Duncan (former U.S. Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.), Vanessa Bryant (Senior Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut), Ada Brown (U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Texas).
The Left doesn’t want just any qualified black woman, they want an ideologue.
President Biden has two real opportunities.
First, an opportunity for him to usher in a different kind of diversity to the Court: diversity of experience. The jurists noted above boast many firsts and have varied legal and judicial careers. Most of them are alumnae of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBU) which would bring much-needed pedigree diversity to the Supreme Court.
Currently, just one justice —Justice Amy Coney Barrett — did not attend Harvard or Yale.
Second, by nominating a judge who was nominated by a Republican president, Biden could make good on his inauguration promise to bring Americans together.
What better show of bipartisanship than to nominate someone selected by a Republican.
President Biden should free himself from his pledge and consider a wide range of qualified people for the job. If the person ends up being a Black woman, at least she will know that she earned the job based on merit, not her skin color or two X chromosomes.