Biden should look past race and gender for Supreme Court nomination

Star Parker
Conservative Opinion

Star Parker

Founder & President, Center for Urban Renewal and Education
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President Biden’s announcement that he would nominate a Black woman to succeed retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the United States Supreme Court wasn’t entirely a surprise. By making that pronouncement, he was essentially fulfilling a promise made on the 2020 campaign trail. But the implications of that pledge go far beyond the historical barrier he aims to shatter.

“That person will be the first Black woman ever nominated,” Biden vowed in January when Breyer announced his retirement after nearly 30 years on the bench. “It is long overdue in my view.”

Biden’s announcement came despite polling that indicates the vast majority of the country wants the best qualified candidate, regardless of race or gender, to be considered.

It is certainly appropriate to want a Court that accurately represents the country. And it is why Clarence Thomas is such a vital figure not just in the present-day, but in the overall history of the Supreme Court.

When he was nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, there was never any question that Bush would nominate an African American to replace the legendary Thurgood Marshall.

However, as President Biden goes through the process of deciding which Black female he will nominate, what most Americans will keep in mind is that race is not a reality with one dimension. 

Despite what some might think, Black reality is as multifaceted and complex as is all of human reality.

And the views of Black Americans cover the full scope of the political spectrum.

Clarence Thomas has shown himself to be a brilliant conservative addition to the court.

Justice Thomas provided a necessary perspective, a Black conservative’s viewpoint, that has been crucial to the high court in the decades he has served. And that is despite the shameful circus he endured, under then-Senator Biden, who presided over his confirmation hearings.

Biden’s promise, however, reeks of Democratic hypocrisy. Why? Because it is clear by some of the rumored “front-runners” for the nomination that the president is only considering liberal Black female judges. Federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who used to clerk for Breyer, and Leondra Kruger, currently on California’s Supreme Court, are just two of the left-leaning judges on the short list.

It’s clear that consideration for Black female judges will begin and end with only those candidates who subscribe to the left’s harmful progressive policies. That’s not just conjecture; past history has shown Democrats, who love to claim they are the champion of all minority groups, have blocked qualified minority candidates from judicial appointments simply because they held conservative beliefs.

There is no reason to believe this search for a Supreme Court nominee will be nothing but an exercise in hypocrisy by Biden and the Democrats.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page stated that “Mr. Biden’s campaign promise that he’d appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court is unfortunate because it elevates skin color over qualifications.”

But, no pun intended, is it all really so black and white?

By looking at the one Black justice on the Supreme Court, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, I believe we can sometimes find justification for taking race and gender into consideration when making a Supreme Court nomination. 

Thomas is now the longest-serving sitting justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. 

When he was nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, there was never any question that Bush would nominate an African American to replace the legendary Thurgood Marshall.

However, as President Biden goes through the process of deciding which black female he will nominate, what most Americans will keep in mind is that race is not a reality with one dimension. 

Despite what some might think, Black reality is as multifaceted and complex as is all of human reality.

And the views of Black Americans cover the full scope of the political spectrum.

Clarence Thomas has shown himself to be a brilliant conservative addition to the court. 

Had not Bush felt it politically important to replace Marshall with an African American, our country would be the worse off for not having given this African American the opportunity to contribute immeasurably to our nation.

But what Biden thinks is a historical plus regarding race and gender matters with his opportunity to make this appointment, is to note the irony that the then-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee through which Thomas’ nomination had to pass was our current president, Joe Biden.

The then-Sen. Biden presided over a confirmation hearing that he allowed to be transformed into a carnival of pornography, allowing Anita Hill to make shameful public accusations about Thomas that had no place in a Senate hearing.

In a recent documentary, Thomas spoke about what happened and how, under Joe Biden’s chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee, liberals sought to destroy him because he is a conservative: “People should just tell the truth: This is the wrong Black guy. He has to be destroyed. Just say it. Then now we will be honest with each other.”

In fact, the track record of liberals toward minority Americans who are not liberal is not pretty.

Janice Rogers Brown, a conservative/libertarian African American woman who served as a justice on the Supreme Court of California, was nominated by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Senate Democrats blocked her nomination for two years until she was finally confirmed in 2005.

Miguel Estrada is a distinguished Honduran American attorney who arrived as an immigrant without being able to speak English and wound up graduating, magna cum laude, with a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. Democrats blocked Bush’s nomination of Estrada to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals because he is a conservative.

The point is our country has a complex history and cultural reality in addition to its ideals.

And among our ideals should be mutual human respect and decency.

So, let’s hope as our nation walks through the nomination of selecting our next justice for our Supreme Court, that President Biden will look beyond gender and race and actually take a deep look at merit: 

And let’s pray that the progressive left doesn’t use the then senator Biden playbook that interjected racial stereotypes into the process so to only get black females of their progressive liking on the list.


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