Identity Fixation: Biden Starts SCOTUS Search With Sex and Skin Color

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Posted: Jan 28, 2022 1:30 PM
Identity Fixation: Biden Starts SCOTUS Search With Sex and Skin Color

Yesterday, we offered our analysis of what is likely to happen in the process of filling the Supreme Court seat of retiring Justice Stephen Breyer.  A number of comments and statements from key Senators -- and stats like this -- only reinforce my view of how this is probably going to play out.  One early topic of discussion, however, focuses on President Biden's decision to preemptively announce that he will limit his search to black women candidates, explicitly excluding an entire universe of potential nominees on the basis of sex and race.  Does that constitute 'progress'?  Some will argue that elevating a jurist of that profile to the nation's high court is long overdue, so his stated criteria are on point.  Others will note that other presidents have made similar specifically identity-driven decisions in the past, so it's not unprecedented.  And it's also undeniably true that Biden made this pledge as a base play during the 2020 election cycle, and he won -- so moving forward as advertised would be keeping a campaign promise.

But to many observers, there's something unseemly about a president announcing that a Supreme Court seat must be filled by a TBD black female individual, and all others need not apply.  I debated this point with Juan Williams on my radio show yesterday; at times, it felt like we were arguing past each other.  My point was not that a black woman should not be picked, or would not be qualified, or that some white man would be better suited for the job.  Juan imputed those points to me, even though I was not making them at all.  My actual point was that it feels like a disservice to the eventual nominee for the president to have said anything other than, "we are going to select the best person for the job, period."  If that best-qualified person happens to be a black woman (and of course such considerations could and would be part of internal deliberations), then that's an aspect of the nomination that could and would be touted and celebrated.  It just feels a bit backwards for the decision-maker to publicly declare that he is beginning his search with genitalia and skin color, then considering all other substantive factors.  Juan disagreed.  Listen here:


The straw men are already flying. There's a major qualitative difference between picking a judge based on judicial philosophy and ideology and immutable characteristics. This should be beyond obvious. And no one is questioning the fitness or qualification of Biden's nominee due to her race and/or sex, in part because...there is no nominee yet:


It will also be more than a little nauseating to see Democrats lean hard into their identity obsession during this nomination battle, given their own (modern) history involving judges and race:


Yes, that actually happened.  And when they got caught, Senate Democrats enlisted the help of their "news" media allies to turn the story into a scandal about how the memo got leaked, rather than what it said.  In our exchange embedded above, Juan mentioned an upcoming SCOTUS review of affirmative action/race-based college admissions.  Progressives are up in arms that the Court's conservative majority may rule that race-based discrimination is unconstitutional.  Re-read that sentence, then recall that the American people really, really don't like race-based discrimination:


Finally, on the general matter of racial division, are Democrats in Georgia about to get burned by their intense campaign of demagoguery and lies?


For several years now, they've been telling their base -- and African Americans in particular -- that Georgia Republicans are trying to "suppress" their ability to vote.  It's not true, but these scare tactics have proven useful at boosting black turnout in the past, in defiance of the alleged threat.  But could that hand have finally been overplayed?  If you lie hard enough and tell people that voting will be difficult and inconvenient (you can't even sip water if you're thirsty, etc.) for long enough, some will believe you and decide it's not worth it.  This is what happened to Georgia Republicans in 2021, leading to depressed turnout and a Democratic sweep.  Are Georgia Democrats about to reap their own whirlwind?  We'll see.