Black congressmen urge Biden on Supreme Court pick

On Thursday, a group of black women lawmakers welcomed President Biden’s pledge to appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court, but outlined the type of jurist they want to see elevated.

“The appointment of a black woman is not a mere symbolism; this is an essential step for our nation’s promise of justice for all,” the women said in a letter to Biden.

“It is therefore of the utmost importance that the administration appoint a black woman with a strong track record in advancing civil and constitutionally protected rights, and whose work has demonstrated her dedication to asserting the rights of the most marginalized communities. of our country,” the letter read.

Led by Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), 13 other black women in Congress signed the letter, including Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland).

Biden said he plans to announce his pick to succeed retired Justice Stephen Breyer by the end of February, Black History Month.

The president is scheduled to meet with Senate Democrats who serve on the Judiciary Committee on Thursday to discuss the nomination process.

The two California senators, Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, sit on the panel, which will consider the nominee in a public hearing and vote in committee before the nominee can speak.

All but seven Supreme Court justices in U.S. history have been white men, the women said, adding that it is no coincidence that the Court’s precedents have largely reflected the points view of white men.

“We write to you as a collective of 14 black women legislators serving in the United States House of Representatives, but write on behalf of the more than 21 million black women in America,” they said.

“There is not a single black woman in the United States Senate to vote to confirm the first black woman nominated to the Supreme Court,” the letter said. “For this reason, we write to you as a collective to congratulate you on this historic announcement and ask the nominee to reflect a deep and enduring commitment to judging with moral and legal clarity.”

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Judge Leondra Kruger of the Supreme Court of California and Judge J. Michelle Childs of the United States District Court for the South Carolina district are among the top names considered.

Jackson was confirmed on the circuit last summer with the support of all Democrats and three Republicans.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (DS.C.), whose timely endorsement in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary saved Biden’s campaign, publicly lobbied for Childs, who also received vocal support from Sens Republicans. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott from South Carolina. But she has drawn criticism from progressives who say she is ‘anti-Labour’.

During a roundtable with a group of black journalists on Tuesday, Bush said members shouldn’t pit black women against each other as Biden considers a candidate. Asked specifically about Childs, Bush said she was unfamiliar with her past. But in earlier comments, the Missouri Democrat said she wants to see a candidate who is strong on criminal law reform and worker protections.

“I don’t have a name. I want the person who has those qualifications to reach the top,” she said. “I just don’t think it’s our place to pit black women against each other to try to get that spot. No, let’s push them all up there.

Los Angeles Times

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