President Joe Biden had a chance once to get a Black woman onto the Supreme Court, but he filibustered a vote twice during former President George W. Bush's administration to block Janice Rogers Brown from being seated, reports The Washington Examiner.
Bush in 2003 nominated Brown to the high-profile District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, which has produced more Supreme Court justices than any other federal court.
She was immediately hailed as a potential Supreme Court nominee, per The Washington Post. But Biden was ideologically opposed to Brown's conservative writings on the subjects of affirmative action and abortion and filibustered her nomination.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley tweeted Monday that Biden should "make amends" and nominate 72-year-old Brown, who retired from the D.C. Circuit in August 2017.
"If he wants to unite the country, Biden should nominate Janice Rogers Brown. Committed constitutionalist who is also an African-American woman," the senator wrote.
Bush nominated Brown again in 2005 and she was confirmed despite Biden's no vote.
During that summer, a month into Brown's tenure on the D.C. Circuit, Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement from the Supreme Court and Brown's name was floated as a replacement.
Biden, though, appeared on CBS’s "Face the Nation" to warn that Brown would face a filibuster if nominated.
"I can assure you that would be a very, very, very difficult fight and she probably would be filibustered," Biden said. Asked by moderator John Roberts, "Wasn’t she just confirmed?," Biden said the Supreme Court is a "totally different ballgame" because "a circuit court judge is bound by stare decisis. They don’t get to make new law."
She would have been the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court.
Democrats also filibustered Bush’s 2001 nomination of Miguel Estrada to the D.C. Circuit. Estrada, a conservative, would have been the first Latino appointed to that bench but rescinded his name from consideration after being blocked for two consecutive years.
The president has become increasingly critical of the Senate filibuster rule, calling it a relic of Jim Crow segregation laws.
But Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, noted the hypocrisy of Democratic senators calling for eliminating the legislative filibuster just a few years after adamantly calling for the preservation of the filibuster — when Republicans held a majority in the Senate.
Biden said he would name his Black female Supreme Court pick to replace Stephen Breyer by the end of February. So far, South Carolina Judge J. Michelle Childs is under consideration.
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