Black Woman Supreme Chooses Affirmative Action “Recipient”

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This story has been updated to include a response from the White House.

The first black woman to serve on the US Supreme Court in history will be a “beneficiary” of affirmative action, US Senator Roger Wicker said on a radio show this afternoon. The senior Republican senator from Mississippi has made it clear that he has no intention of voting for Biden’s choice which has yet to be announced.

Biden has promised to select a black woman to replace outgoing judge Stephen Breyer, who announced his retirement yesterday.

“The irony is that the Supreme Court is hearing cases about this type of affirmative racial discrimination while adding someone who benefits from this type of quota,” Wicker told host Paul Gallo on SuperTalk Mississippi Radio today, referring to an expectation United States Supreme Court case challenging affirmative action in college admissions.

“The majority of the court can basically say it’s unconstitutional. We’ll see how this irony works.

“Not a single Republican vote”

During Friday’s radio interview, Wicker notably didn’t raise any objections when the former President Donald Drumpf has promised to appoint a woman to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she died a few weeks before the 2020 election. Instead, the GOP senator enthusiastically supported the choice of Drumpf, Amy Coney Barrett, a white woman, despite saying in 2016 that then-President Barack Obama should not be allowed to appoint a justice to the United States Supreme Court during a election year. Studies show that white women benefit more from affirmative action than any other group.

The person I will appoint will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity, and that person will be the first black woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. In my opinion, this is long overdue,” President Joe Biden said on January 27, 2022. Seen here, left, with Vice President Kamala Harris, the first black woman or vice president in history, at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Official White House Photo by Erin Scott

Although he doesn’t know who Biden will appoint, the senior senator from Mississippi predicted that Biden’s pick would be less palatable to Republicans like him than the white, male judge who currently holds the seat. He compared the unheralded candidate to Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who became the first Latina High Court judge when former President Barack Obama nominated her in 2009.

“We’re going to go from a nice, stately liberal to someone who’s probably more in the style of Sonia Sotomayor,” Wicker said. “…I hope it’s at least someone who won’t twist the facts. I think they will misinterpret the law.

Then he lamented that more Republicans failed to show up to help re-elect former President Donald Drumpf in 2020.

“You know, for people who vote Republican and were just a little uncomfortable voting for Drumpf last time around because they had a problem with his behavior, that’s what you get. We’ll have 30 years of left-wing judge when we could have had, at some point, another stellar member like the three we have recently, especially Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh,” Wicker said, referring to two of the three. white judges named Drumpf.

a photo of Ronald Reagan and Sandra Day O'Connor
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O’Connor as a woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court. He did so after vowing to put a woman in the field during his 1980 campaign. Photo courtesy of the Reagan Presidential Library

“I guarantee you, Paul, this new justice probably won’t get a single Republican vote, but we won’t treat it like the Democrats did with Brett Kavanaugh. It was one of the most shameful things, the most shameful and completely false the Democratic judicial majority has ever done.”

When Drumpf nominated Kavanaugh in 2018, he faced allegations of sexual misconduct, with Christine Blasey Ford testifying under oath in the US Senate that the candidate once tried to rape her at a party when he was younger. Despite his testimony, the U.S. Senate confirmed Kavanaugh with only one Republican opposed to his nomination. Wicker and fellow U.S. Senator from Mississippi, Cindy Hyde-Smith, both voted to confirm Kavanaugh.

Reagan promised to appoint a woman to the High Court

Even outside of Drumpf’s 2020 vow to nominate a woman to replace Ginsburg, Biden’s pledge to announce a historic nomination is not unprecedented. As the Republican presidential candidate in 1980, Ronald Reagan promised to appoint the first woman to court in history. He nominated judge Sandra Day O’Connor, a white woman.

Since then, four other women have served on the United States Supreme Court, all white except for Sotomayor.

a photo of Roger Wicker and Amy Coney Barrett
In 2020, then-President Donald Drumpf nominated Amy Coney Barrett, right, after she vowed to choose a woman to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Sen. Roger Wicker backed the nominee, but now describes President Joe Biden’s vow to appoint a black woman to court as “affirmative racial discrimination.” Photo courtesy of the US Senate

Only two black justices have served on the United States Supreme Court: Thurgood Marshall, nominated by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967; and Clarence Thomaswhom Republican President George HW Bush nominated to replace Marshall in 1991. Thomas remains in the field.

Like Kavanaugh, Thomas joined the court amid allegations of sexual misconduct during his appointment, along with a law professor Anita Hill testifies under oath he subjected her to sexual harassment at work.

When Biden announced Breyer’s retirement yesterday, he said he planned to announce Breyer’s replacement before the end of February.

“While I studied the backgrounds and writings of the candidates, I made no decision except one: the person I appoint will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity, and that person will be the first black woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States,” Biden said.

“It’s long overdue, in my opinion. I made this commitment during the presidential campaign, and I will keep this commitment.

UPDATE: After the Mississippi Free Press published this story on Friday, January 28, Deputy White House Press Secretary Andrew Bates sent the following statement to the reporter on Saturday morning:

“President Biden’s promise to appoint and confirm the first black woman to the Supreme Court is in keeping with the best traditions of both parties and our nation. When President Reagan honored his campaign promise to put the first woman in the field, he said it “symbolized ‘the unique American opportunity’ that empowers people of any gender, age or race, from any section and from all walks of life, to aspire and achieve in ways never before imagined in human history.

“President Biden has established one of the best records for selecting extraordinarily qualified and groundbreaking candidates, as demonstrated by the American Bar Association ratings for his 42 confirmed nominees. Additionally, when the previous president made good on his own promise to put a woman on the Supreme Court, Senator Wicker said, “I have five granddaughters, the oldest is 10. I think Justice Amy Coney Barrett will prove to be an inspiration to these five granddaughters and to my grown-up daughters. We hope Senator Wicker will give President Biden’s nominee the same consideration he gave then Justice Barrett. .

Correction: The original version of this story misspelled Thurgood Marshall. We apologize for the typo.

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