Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Black History Month Begins: So We Skewer WSJ Claim That Biden SC Pick Must Be From An "Open Field"

                   Clarence Thomas- one of the five least qualified Supreme Court Justices.

The beginning of 'Black History Month' is today and there is little doubt most Americans are lacking in that category of learning. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once wrote in 1967: "It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the White people of America believe they have so little to learn." Worse, too many are adamant they don't wish to learn the rudiments of racial prejudice in the U.S., hence the reaction to the '1619 Project' and critical race theory.  

But today I am specifically interested in correcting the  WSJ Editorial hacks (1/ 29, p. A12) who claimed ('Race, Gender and the Supreme Court') that President Joe Biden is amiss for coming out exclusively in favor of  a black female candidate as a nominee for the Supreme Court.  In a recent poll, 76% of respondents also concurred and believe Biden ought to have been open to a "wide open field" of candidates.  But this is idiocy.  

First, these Americans for the "open field" apparently forget that Reagan never adhered to that standard. He came right out and pledged (in 1980) to name the first female justice, saying: "It's time for a woman to sit among the highest jurists" before naming Sandra Day O'Connor.  Second, the moment cries out for the next level of diversity on the Court, and that means a superb black female nominee.

 The deplorable poll result is first a failure to apprehend that such a choice is "long overdue" as Biden noted. Let us agree that the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of the meaning of the Constitution, federal law, and numerous state and local laws that affect the lives and liberty of over 330 million citizens - of whom 46.8 million are black Americans. And yet only 2 justices have ever served on the court, and one (Clarence Thomas) is perhaps the least qualified Justice ever (as I will show below).

Further, the nation's population is more than half female while the Court has never had more than 3 females serving at one time. Can we not agree that a court stacked with justices who share the background and perspective of only a narrow slice of the American populace cannot expect to retain indefinitely the confidence of a diverse nation it serves.  This ought to be a no-brainer.  Thus, a direct decision to nominate a black woman to the court should be neither controversial nor deserving of specious WSJ editorial attack.

 And yet the WSJ editors, using the words of a lackey (Ilya Shapiro) at the Cato Institute - have claimed that any black woman nominated by Biden for the Supreme Court will be "a lesser black woman".  Say compared to the Asian Sri Srinivasan  who - in Shapiro's lingo-  is "objectively the better pick, solid prog. and whip smart"

Shapiro - as the WSJ noted - deleted his tweet, "apologizing for it being recklessly framed"  in a letter to Dean Treanor and the Georgetown University community.  Personally, I'd have dismissed the turkey right there, though the WSJ bleated "The Dean should let him keep his new job."    But how dare Shapiro (and by extension the WSJ editors)  try to derail a black woman's nomination as "lesser" when we already know the LEAST qualified person of all (Clarence Thomas) already resides on the court.  

This dashes the further twaddle of Shapiro that: "The larger issue in all of this concerns the debate over whomever Mr. Biden chooses to join the select group of nine Justices".  Trouble is, Thomas isn't select, but cynically chosen by Bush Sr. as a token black to give the Repukes some racial cover, so they wouldn't be tagged as totally racist. Don't take my word, research it for yourselves.

The late Republican senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) in his 2000 autobiographyPassion for Truthwrote: 

 "Bush announced that Thomas was the “best qualified” nominee he could find for the high court and that “the fact he was black and a minority had nothing to do with this.” Immediately I said publicly that Thomas was not the best-qualified nominee available and that race was a factor — and properly so. I did not object to Thomas’s nomination because I thought he was entitled to a hearing and because on the record, with his degrees from Holy Cross and Yale Law School plus his tenure on the court of appeals, he appeared at least marginally qualified."

Marginally qualified?  How about zero qualified, as in bottom feeder?  The late Democratic senator Paul Simon (D-Ill.) in a 1992 C-SPAN interview about his book Advice & Consent: 

"Gerald Ford followed the Constitution by consulting with senators. George Bush did not. Gerald Ford contacted people around the nation and said, “Who would be the best possible person to put on the court?” and then he submitted 20 names to the American Bar Association for their evaluation. George Bush submitted one: Clarence Thomas."

This baloney from the rightists that a 'lesser' black woman would be added to an already 'select' court is pure bunkum.  Further the WSJ end claim that "Biden and his allies can't say they're choosing a nominee on the basis of race and then try to intimidate critics by claiming any criticism of the nominee is racist."

Sorry, but they certainly can, if indeed any criticism is misplaced and cloaked in subtle sophistry to try to hide or de-emphasize the racism. In fact, any of the current black female candidates currently being considered would - if nominated - finally be a worthy counterpart (in the select class) to Thurgood Marshall - who already served with such distinction.  The woman would also serve as a serious check on Clarence Thomas and his sorry representation of African-Americans on the highest court.

See Also:

The Five Worst Supreme Court Justices In American History, Ranked – ThinkProgress


by Alex Henderson | January 29, 2022 - 8:56am | permalink


by Amanda Marcotte | January 28, 2022 - 8:56am | permalink

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