Flashback: Biden Effectively Killed Potential Nomination Of First Black Woman To Supreme Court

Joe Biden filibustered the nomination of Judge Janice Rogers Brown, a black woman, to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2003, then warned President George W. Bush he would do the same if she were nominated as the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.

Senator Biden and fellow Democrats stalled Brown’s nomination to the Court of Appeals for nearly two years.

The D.C. Circuit’s prominence and prestige among American courts ranks behind only the U.S. Supreme Court, with more jurists going on to serve on the Supreme Court than any other.

Brown had been set on a similar path, being hailed as a potential Supreme Court pick after being nominated to the Circuit by Bush. Democrats though, derailed the nomination and forced Bush to renominate her in 2005 when she was eventually confirmed by the Senate.

She would not make it to the Supreme Court.

RELATED: White House Confirms Biden Will Choose Black Woman For Supreme Court

Biden Filibustered Potential First Black Woman Nominee to Supreme Court

What happened next is certainly relevant to today’s scenario in which Biden, now President, has vowed to nominate the first black female to the Supreme Court.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement on July 1st, 2005, and Brown was on Bush’s shortlist to replace her.

“She would have been the first Black woman ever nominated to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court,” writes columnist Marc Thiessen for the Washington Post.

Two days after O’Connor’s announcement, Biden appeared on “Face the Nation” to warn Bush that Brown specifically would face a filibuster if she were nominated.

“I can assure you that would be a very, very, very difficult fight and she probably would be filibustered,” threatened Biden.

Twice Biden had worked overtime to derail Brown’s ascension through the judicial system. Twice he had used the filibuster (once literally, once as a threat), something he now calls a “relic of the Jim Crow era,” to railroad a black female jurist.

“There has never been a successful filibuster of a nominee for associate justice in the history of the republic,” Thiessen writes. “Biden wanted to make a Black woman the first in history to have her nomination killed by filibuster.”

Bush ultimately nominated Samuel Alito on October 31st, 2005.

Biden, of course, also played a key role in trying to steamroll Justice Clarence Thomas’s nomination as he presided over confirmation hearings over 30 years ago, an effort Thomas described at the time as an attempted “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.”

Biden was Senate Judiciary chair at the time when Anita Hill brought allegations of sexual harassment against Thomas.

Thomas is only the second African-American to serve on the Supreme Court.

RELATED: Lindsey Graham Agrees With Biden On Black Woman Supreme Court Pick, 76% Of Americans Want All Options Considered

Republicans Capitulate

Winsome Sears, the first black woman to hold the office of Lieutenant Governor, questioned the timing of President Biden’s newfound obsession with selecting somebody to serve on the Supreme Court based on their race and gender.

“When I first heard that he was going to nominate the first black woman, I thought to myself, three words,” Sears said in a recent interview. “Janice Rogers Brown.”

“Where were you, Mr. President, when we wanted her to be on the Supreme Court?”

Barack Obama, a junior Senator from Illinois in 2005, disparaged Janice Rogers Brown in a speech opposing her nomination.

Obama accused her of being a judicial activist, a woman possessing the “willingness to consistently side with the powerful over the powerless.”

He went on to argue that her interpretation of the role of the judiciary is “simply intellectually dishonest and logically incoherent.”

Now imagine any Republican Senators using that phrasing to describe President Biden’s nominee.

If Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is any indication, Senate Republicans won’t even mount much of an argument as to the credentials and merit of Biden’s selection.

“Put me in the camp of making sure the court and other institutions look like America,” Graham proudly beamed.

“You know, we make a real effort as Republicans to recruit women and people of color to make the party look more like America,” he continued. “Affirmative action is picking somebody not as well qualified for past wrongs.”

Graham is already emanating a defeatist attitude despite having polling suggest a vast majority of Americans oppose selecting a Supreme Court nominee based on skin color or gender.

“Just over three-quarters of Americans (76%) want Biden to consider ‘all possible nominees,’” ABC News reports.

“Just 23% want him to automatically follow through on his history-making commitment that the White House seems keen on seeing through.”

President Biden has made numerous controversial statements on race in the past.

That includes comments going all the way back to when he argued desegregation would mean his children would be forced into a “racial jungle” and his most recent campaign when he told African-American voters “you ain’t black” if you don’t vote for him.

Source: The Political Insider

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