By: Nathaniel BALLANTYNE
Last month, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced he was retiring from the court, giving President Biden the opportunity to name his first nominee to our nation’s highest court.
Biden renewed his promise to pick a black woman for the Supreme Court to replace Justice Breyer. But some Republican members of Congress started to call the promise to pick a black woman a “quota pick” and an “affirmative action pick.”
Several of the judges on Biden’s SCOTUS short list were also on Obama’swhen he had the opportunity to name a Supreme Court justice. But President Obama had made the decision that he didn’t want to put some of these women up because if it wasn’t successful, it would mean they’d never be elevated to the Supreme Court. With Democrats now controlling the Senate, nominating a black woman seems a prudent choice.
These black women who made the short list wouldn’t be chosen again — or were unlikely to be chosen again, if Obama failed. And these are real stars. They’re the future, and Obama wanted to preserve the opportunity for them.
The advice for a nominee when meeting with senators is simple: You’re not supposed to say anything of substance in the meeting. Just be cordial.
The potential political upside for Biden is that some Republicans could overshoot this, and you already see some senators talking about how this is a ‘quota pick’ or an ‘affirmative action pick.’ … And that’s not going to sit well with people, particularly when they meet her.
This person is not going to come off as an ‘affirmative action pick’; this person is going to come across as the most qualified person for the court, if you just look at the women on the proverbial short list. They can … continue their racist dog whistles on this. But I think most people are not going to have the stomach for it, and it will turn around and bite them.
Inside the White House, there is an incredibly competent team running the vetting, if there is something, they’ll find it. These incredible women would not be in the positions that they are if there was something, according to White House staffers involved in the vetting.
According to the White House, Biden short list contains 5 well-qualified nominees and anyone of them could sell without any problems. Calling them “quota pick” or “affirmative action pick” will not change the fact that all of these women are more qualified than many white men sitting in the Supreme Court right now.