When he was running for president, Biden (in)famously promised voters in South Carolina that he’d nominate a black woman for a seat on the Supreme Court if he got the chance to do so.
Then, Justice Breyer’s retirement was announced and Joe reaffirmed his commitment to that plan, promising to exclude an entire gender and many races from his selection process.
Many, viewing that overt racial and sexual discrimination with horror, objected, saying that it is, or at least should be, illegal for him to pick someone on the basis of their melanin and gender rather than merit and character, especially for an appointment to the highest court in the land.
Senator Ted Cruz, appearing on Fox News Sunday, echoed those concerns and blasted the pledge as illegal, saying:
“Democrats today believe in racial discrimination, they’re committed to it as a political proposition. I think it is wrong to stand up and say we’re going to discriminate, this administration is going to discriminate.
What the president said is that only African-American women are eligible for this slot. They said that 94% of Americans are ineligible.
I think our country has such a troubled history on race, we ought to move past discriminating based on race. The way Biden ought to do it is to say I’m going to look for the best justice, interview a lot of people.
And if he happened to nominate a justice who was an African-American woman, great. But you know what? If Fox News put a posting, we’re looking for a new host for Fox News Sunday and we will only hire an African-American woman or a Hispanic man or a Native American woman, that would be illegal. Nobody else can do what Joe Biden did.”
Watch him here:
Cruz is right; it’s not the fact that a black woman will be on the court that rankles many people; few of those complaining about Biden’s pledge would have a negative thing to say about Justice Clarence Thomas.
Rather, it’s that he’s overtly discriminating against almost everyone so that he can make a political point and hopefully buy off a few voters that is infuriating so many, along with the fact that were they to do what he is doing they’d be in serious trouble for discriminating on the basis of race and sex.
Cruz isn’t the only one to unload on Biden for the pledge. Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said:
“I think it may be unconstitutional. If he had said he was going to appoint the first… Muslim to the court, that would be unconstitutional.
As the Constitution, Article 6, specifically provides that no religious test should ever be required. I think the 14th and 19th Amendments also extend that to no racial or gender tests.
Nobody should ever be excluded because they don’t fit a racial or gender criteria. There are enormous numbers of qualified black judges who would make great appointees to the Supreme Court.
And I would applaud if the president picked someone who also fit that criteria. But to announce in advance, no whites, no males apply, brings us back to when the Supreme Court was exclusively a white male institution.”
Dershowitz and Cruz are both right; racial discrimination is wrong and shouldn’t be the basis for anything, much less an appointment to the highest court in the land.