Black Women In Vice President’s Orbit Thank Biden For Pledge To Nominate Black Women To The Supreme Court

“We believe it is important for Black women to show our appreciation to the President for unequivocally keeping the promises he made throughout the campaign and to place a sign that reads: : ‘This woman, we will help her back'”. Karen Finney, a senior Democratic strategist and CNN contributor who helped create the letter, told CNN in an interview. “It’s also a pleasure to show off.”

The letter commends Biden for “seizing this moment in history to lead with the best vision of America and to ensure that the leadership of our democracy reflects the diversity of living experiences in America.” top levels.”

“The nomination of a Black woman with the necessary compassion, a sense of justice, and an outstanding legal mind will strengthen the integrity of the Supreme Court by providing a balance that ensures the high court more representative of all Americans,” the letter said.

On Thursday, Biden pledged to deliver on the historic nomination, fulfilling a campaign promise he first made in South Carolina, tapping into a state where Black women voters make up a significant portion of the election. tri. The pledge helped him gain notable approval in the state, propelling him to victory, but also acknowledged the desire of black women political leaders whose power was soaring and loved Ask Democrats to respond in kind.

“The person I will nominate will be someone of extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity. And that person will be the first Black woman ever to be nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States.” , Biden said Thursday. “In my view, it’s long overdue. I made that promise during the presidential campaign and I’ll keep it.”

Melanie Campbell, president of the National Coalition for Black Involvement, who helped direct the drafting of the letter, thanked Biden in an interview with CNN for keeping his word “so many times with the politicians it doesn’t happen.”

“In 233 years, there’s never been a case,” Campbell said of a black woman Supreme Court Justice. “That means the life experience of Black women has never been represented on that court.”

Now that their representation has become a real possibility, she and a coalition of influential black women – including a host of prominent political figures and friends of Biden, have had preeminent role in persuading the President to choose a black woman. as his vice president – is getting ready for what happens next.

Campbell said the letter was intended to raise the profile of Black women believed to be on Biden’s shortlist of potential candidates that were disseminated by Washington before Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement plans were announced. public.

The White House confirmed on Friday that US District of South Carolina Judge J. Michelle Childs is one of those that President Joe Biden is considering as a candidate. Other women rumored to be on the shortlist include DC Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger and civil rights attorney Sherrilyn Ifill.
White House considers broader list of Supreme Court nominees

The nomination would provide the country with another example of a Black woman leader. Despite the groundbreaking election of Vice President Kamala Harris, the country currently has no Black governor or black female senator.

“They have an exemplary academic background, a judicial background, isn’t that all you need?” Campbell asked.

But several potential candidates have been labeled “radical” by Republican lawmakers, who have criticized the president’s pledge or select the final nominee as the “beneficiary” of the affirmative action.
The GOP Senator said that the Supreme Court's pick for black women would be & # 39;  beneficiary & # 39;  affirmative action

Preparing for the onslaught, Black women leaders are seeking to set terms on what will and will not be tolerated. The goal is to enhance the character and qualifications of women, says Brown.

“Baseline is a highly qualified black woman. We’ve been in this game enough, we’ve been in this country long enough, and we’ve always done our best,” said LaTosha Brown, co-creator. of Black Voters Matter based in Georgia, told CNN. “We’re not going to get into the conversation where we’re proving we’re qualified. It’s a distraction.”

‘Black women are controlling the story’

The organization between Black women and other stakeholders is taking place on video and phone calls, prepared participants told CNN. Background information of potential candidates is being distributed, serving as an educational campaign for legions of women and men ready to assist candidates if necessary.

“Tactically, we knew (Republicans) would throw everything they could at her and make it ugly,” a source familiar with Democratic thinking told CNN. They view the Republican Party books to authorize the final nominee to form in real time.

And that’s exactly why the Supreme Court for black women is needed, they say, as race and gender have yet to be adequately addressed in this country.

“In this moment, black women are taking control of the narrative about who we are as leaders in this country, about what we feel are life experiences,” Finney said. the expertise we bring.

The women say they have learned from moments in history where Black women were nominated and went through grueling confirmation processes, such as Loretta Lynch when she was recruited by former Attorney General Barack Obama. Nominated in 2014. Or Lani Guinier, whose nomination for assistant attorney general was withdrawn by former President Bill Clinton in 1993 after conservatives waged a disparaging campaign against her. And even last year nominated Kristen Clarke to the same position as Guinier.

Donna Brazile, a veteran Democratic political strategist who supported Biden’s pick of Harris as vice president, said the focus should be on what really matters to an appellate judge.

“The focus should be on her judicial personality. Judges are sworn in, sworn in impartiality. And like other public servants, they are sworn to the Constitution. Any conversation Anything else is what I call a political drama,” Brazile told CNN.

As soon as next week, the White House will begin reaching out and potentially meeting with possible candidates, a move intended to highlight what the President says will be a “rigorous” process of review. “one of the most serious constitutional responsibilities of a President. yes.”

Biden has vowed to announce his candidacy at the end of February, as Breyer has said he will step down at the end of his term. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised speedy confirmation hearings, something Republicans have said they want to slow down.

Depending on them, Black women leaders will see that not happening.

“We are urging the United States Senate to fulfill its constitutional responsibility by expeditiously holding hearings and placing your nominee, once announced, on the floor for a confirmation vote. “, the letter to Biden.

“They say the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice, but it doesn’t bend itself, does it?” Representative Terri Sewell, the first Black woman from Alabama to be elected to Congress, attorney and former secretary to Alabama’s first Black federal judge, told CNN in an interview.

Sewell said she was certain that all Black members of Congress would be “extremely supportive in ensuring that the nominee gets a fair hearing and that the nominee’s name is not tampered with during the process.” this program.”

CNN’s MJ Lee and Ariane de Vogue contributed to this report.

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