Mr. President, go ahead and nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, but do it fast

David Pakman
Liberal Opinion

David Pakman

Host of The David Pakman Show
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President Biden is promising to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, and while critics are taking aim at his plan, it’s critical that he make a move sooner rather than later. Biden’s nominee will take the place of Stephen Breyer, a liberal who recently announced his retirement. It will not change the balance of the six to three conservative court, so there should be no problem getting a new justice confirmed. However, Biden’s pledge to name a Black woman is stirring up the right.

Now, this is really an issue where you have to be able to think beyond just black and white. Some on the right have reacted and said, that is racism. You are saying, I am going to pick someone not based on qualifications, but rather simply on race. I’m excluding white people. It’s also sexist because I’m excluding men. That’s a very childish and also factually inaccurate position.  

First and foremost, Ronald Reagan did it. And Donald Trump did it. Not with black women, but both Reagan and Trump announced, I am determined to choose a woman for the court, and the same argument that’s being made here about race could have been made about sex at the time. Nobody had a problem with it who now is saying what Joe Biden is doing is wrong. Now you could take the position. It was always wrong. Okay. That’s a different argument. 

Recent polling shows a majority of Americans want Biden to consider all qualified candidates, but considering that in the history of this country, we’ve never had a Black woman on the court and there’s no shortage of qualified Black women, what’s the issue?

Finally, are Republicans going to try some funny business in terms of the midterms? Remember when President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in March 2016, seven months before the election, and Republicans blocked it? Let’s not give them a chance to do that again.

All right. Joe Biden is imminently going to be nominating a black woman to the Supreme court to replace the retiring, uh, liberal justice, Stephen Breyer. I wanna talk a little bit about my thoughts about, um, selecting a black woman saying, “I will select a black woman.” 

For context, Stephen Breyer, the second oldest member of a court.  Clarence Thomas is older than Stephen Breyer, but Breyer is the oldest liberal justice.  

This is Joe Biden’s first Supreme court nomination happening years before the next presidential election.

There really should be no reason why there is any problem for Joe Biden getting a replacement confirmed. This will not change the balance of the court. It is a sixth to three conservative court, and it will remain a six to three conservative court, but it will lock in Breyer’s seat for a longer period of time. Presumably with someone much younger. 

Now much has been made over the decision by Joe Biden. He made it as a campaign promise and it has been confirmed that this is indeed his  plan. He will be selecting a black woman to the Supreme Court.

Now, this is really an issue where you have to be able to think beyond just black and white. Some on the right have reacted and said, that is racism. You are saying, I am going to pick someone not based on qualifications, but rather simply on race. I’m excluding white people.  It’s also sexist because I’m excluding men. That’s a very childish and also factually inaccurate position.  

Now, I feel compelled to issue a disclaimer. I’m not a big identity politics guy. I have spoken out for years about the destructive ways that identity politics can be used to silence and to say, you don’t get a voice because of your identity or your opinion is not as valid because of your identity. I am against that. And I have rejected that wing of the left because I think it’s completely counterproductive. 

That being said, I have no problem with what Joe Biden is doing. First and foremost, Ronald Reagan did it. And Donald Trump did it. Not with black woman, but both Reagan and Trump announced, I am determined to choose a woman for the court, and the same argument that’s being made here about race could have been made about sex at the time. Nobody had a problem with it who now is saying what Joe Biden is doing is wrong. Now you could take the position. It was always wrong. Okay. That’s a different argument. 

But the really important part for me is this issue of qualification. Instead of focusing on someone qualified, Joe Biden is focusing on identity. This is a country of 330 million people. Black woman is such a broad term in a country with this many people that there is no shortage of qualified black women.

 It would be different if Joe Biden had said, I’m going to focus on, I mean, I don’t, I don’t even know, imagine some extremely narrow group. I’m, I’m only going to focus on putting to the court lawyers who also worked in biomedical sciences, are Japanese-American, and from the state of Iowa. Right? 

Maybe in that case, you could say they’re throwing aside whether the individual is qualified. 

This is the United States of America. We’ve never had a black woman on the court, meaning that the presence of a black woman would be relevant and notable and important given the history of the United States of racial discrimination and slavery, it would be notable. 

We’ve had all these qualified black women in the country for so long, and we’ve never had one on the court. And there are so many qualified black women that by restricting yourself to a black woman on the court, you are not putting identity above qualification because there is such an abundance of qualified individuals.

So, I find the argument that the right has made, which is if a president said, I will only consider white men to the court, it would be the same thing. It wouldn’t be the same thing, because for so long, the court was only white men, and that is the status quo. 

And in a country like the United States, as diverse as it is, it is notable that there has never been a black woman on the court. So I have no problem with it. 

Now, are Republicans gonna try some funny business in terms of the midterms? Maybe, and, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, put out a statement saying, there’s really no rush here. We have plenty of time. Let’s take our time. Let’s, you know, wait a month or two for Joe Biden to make a selection. And then we’ll kind of take our time.  

Given the history of how Republicans have operated around Democratic Supreme court picks, why get closer to the midterms where hopefully it wouldn’t work, but it might open the door for some Republicans to say, we’re about to have a midterm election?

Republicans might take control of the House. Republicans might take control of the Senate. We have to wait to let the people have their say, don’t even open up the door to that.

So I disagree with Dianne Feinstein. You don’t have to rush, but you can get this done instead of waiting until February 28th, Joe Biden could make his pick on February 10th, and Democrats could move more quickly rather than less quickly and get things going. Don’t even give him an opportunity. That’s my take. As far as that goes.


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